Alison Jacques

Alessandro Raho

15 Sep - 15 Oct 2005

Alessandro Raho
First Floor space: Guy Bourdin selected by Alessandro Raho
15 September - 15 October 2005
Private View: Wednesday 14 September, 6 - 8 pm

“Not even those who detest art will be averse to the presence of picture galleries near luxurious shops. For a moment luxury may satisfy greed and provide the riches that separate us from loneliness. We sniff a bountiful air at shop windows, contemplating possessions not yet allotted.”
Adrian Stokes, ‘The Luxury and Necessity of Painting’, The Image in Form (1972)

Alison Jacques Gallery is pleased to announce a solo show of works by Alessandro Raho. Accompanying the artist’s work will be an exhibition of photographs by Guy Bourdin, selected by Alessandro Raho.

Alessandro Raho paints portraits of his friends or members of his family, of landscape scenes and ‘still life’ arrangements set up in the studio. Using oil paint, he makes the photographically derived images more concentrated and unreal. As though in excessive denial of the way that an artist such as John Currin’s smeared surfaces express a fascinated disgust for the ‘dead’ medium, Raho exploits painting’s manipulable and rich surface, imagining it as confectionary, or butter-cream icing. He references depictions of displayed cakes by Wayne Thiebaud or the fresh, flat colours of Fairfield Porter or Alex Katz. The luxury of the image surface is intensified by the deliberate emotional pull of the subject looking back at you or the prettiness of cut flowers or a sunset on a beach scene. The images are selected by the artist both for their real meaning and because they represent what might be universally recognised as pr ompts to nostalgia and memory.

The Guy Bourdin works selected by Alessandro Raho for this small but intimate show on the first floor of the gallery date from 1972 – 1980. The fashion photographs of Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) first appeared in the pages of French Vogue in 1955. The impact of his rich colour, obscure compositions and their surreal erotic charge, became a defining look of the cultural milieu in decades to come.

Alessandro Raho was born in Nassau, Bahamas (1971) and graduated from Goldsmiths College, London (1994). Since then, Raho has exhibited on an international level including Painting on the Move at the Kunsthalle, Basel (2002), and solo shows at Cheim and Read, New York (2003) and Thaddaeus Ropac (2001 & 2003). Recent exhibitions include Raho’s Portrait of Judi Dench at the National Portrait Gallery, London (2005).

© Alessandro Raho, Catherine, 2005, oil on canvas, 230 x 163 cms

Tags: Guy Bourdin, John Currin, Alex Katz, Alessandro Raho