The Arts Club is excited to present Reginald Sylvester II: Feelin’ Blue, an exhibition of paintings by the American artist and rising star in international contemporary art. Sylvester’s radical abstract works recall such artists as Elaine de Kooning and Joan Mitchell, yet with a frenetic energy and singular painterly vocabulary that place him wholly in the present.
Sylvester’s works are informed by the media savvy he gained from his time as a graphic designer, a close knowledge of contemporary fashion, and his historical grounding in Abstract Expressionist practices. Sylvester conceptualises painting as a matter of finding, rather than spontaneously generating images, working in the realms which oscillate between material and spiritual. The artists’ works are multi-layered – each offering a story, philosophy and connection to his biography.
His surfaces are a multi-layered sum of painting, each layer offering a story, a philosophy and a connection to parts of Sylvester’s biography, whilst also inviting the viewer to experience the paintings through their own subjective viewpoint.
Feelin’ Blue favours cooler tones of paint over his usual warmer palette, inspired by Portishead’s 1994 avant-garde trip-hop album, Dummy. The blue background of each painting is reminiscent of the iconic album cover featuring lead vocalist Beth Gibbons before a strikingly lit, cobalt blue backdrop.
Among the blues, whites, browns and glossy purples are flecks of vibrant red that combine to liven and add soul to the works.
This exhibition is curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes of Wedel Art, with thanks to Maximillian William Gallery, London, for their support.