The lush, overdetermined spaces in Hurvin Anderson’s new paintings reference touristic sites of simultaneous development and dereliction in Jamaica, his ancestral home. Departing from photographs taken during a visit in 2017, the paintings and drawings on view elaborate the artist’s process of abstraction, moving between motif and surface, landscape and color field. Anderson takes the title for this exhibition Anywhere but Nowhere from a song by K.C. White and suggests that the landscape he seeks in such travel is at once commonplace and elusive. Born in the United Kingdom as a member of the Jamaican diaspora, Anderson relates to the Caribbean as both insider and outsider, aware of the mythmaking that the idea of lost or future paradise generates, and of the irony of expansive development in the face of neglect.
In this new series of paintings, Anderson trains his eye on a section of wall from a seemingly insignificant building that is being overtaken by foliage. Working and reworking the composition in multiple sketches, transparencies and paintings, he invites introspection, as well as recognition of the destructive factors at work in such marked locations in the natural environment. For the exhibition at The Arts Club of Chicago, Anderson pairs this new work with earlier paintings from his acclaimed Barbershop series, for which he won a nomination for the Turner Prize in 2017; the two series share methodology as well as impulse. They unravel detail into mapped terrains of color, while pointing toward a search for Utopian spaces among diasporic communities in both urban and natural environments.
This exhibition was curated by Janine Mileaf.