Camden Art Centre present exhibitions by Walter Price and Olga Belema

AS GALLERIES reopen and we move closer to summer, Camden Art Centre will exhibit Pearl Lines by Walter Price and Olga Balema’s Computer, physical exhibitions that speak to the joy of in-person gallery visiting.

For both artists, these marks their first major institutional exhibitions in the UK. Price completed a residency at Camden Art Centre in early 2020, before returning to locked down New York. Pearl Lines is made up of the work produced during these periods, a mix of paintings, works on paper and sculptural pieces.

Walter Price, “Be a fireman, we live in the heat, we train in the heat! We control the heat!!”, 2018,
acrylic, staples, and masking tape on wood

Walter Price, “An activity of the spirit”, 2018–19, acrylic on wood

Walter Price, “Hold the umbrella tight while viewing my rain”, 2020, acrylic, gesso, and super white on wood

Walter Price, “They dont LOVE you, Yet”, 2020, acrylic and gesso on wood

Price’s work is influenced by his experience in the US Navy and as an African-American man growing up in the South. They are technicoloured scenes that appear simultaneously surreal and as if plucked from memory. He is a master of composition; his paintings are fantastical view finders, insights into seething mass of real and imagined imagery.

As much of the works of Price exhibited here were produced in situ, Balema’s Computer is similarly linked to its surroundings. Ukrainian-born, and New York-based, Balema  produced this series under commission from the gallery. Visitors are encouraged to step on one of the sculptural pieces as it lies on the floor.

Balema intends for the footprints of its viewers to add to the hand-and-foot-made marks and computer graphics that already cover its surface. It functions as an exploration of the act of exhibition visitation, and the concept experience of art itself.

Olga Balema, “On the Brink of my Sexy Apocalypse”, 2017, installation view

Olga Balema, “Cannibals”, 2015, installation view

Olga Balema, “None of the beauty of the landscape can reach her pupils anymore”, 2017, installation view

Olga Balema, “Brain Damage”, 2019, installation view

The technicolour of Price’s work, and the sculptural, site-specific presence of Computer relish in the return of in-person exhibitions.

by Connie de Pelet

Pearl Lines and Computer are at Camden Art Centre  is on from May 21 – August 29, 2021

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