Stuart Semple: Anxiety Generation at Mayfair’s Delahunty

British artist Stuart Semple will exhibit Anxiety Generation at the Delahunty, a new gallery in Mayfair, London. Following a period of immersive and installation work made primarily with mixed media, Semple returns to the traditional gallery format with a renewed focus on painting.

Semple experienced a traumatic near-death experience at the age of 19, leaving him fearful and anxious about the world around him, a recurring theme throughout his work. However, Anxiety Generation is generational as well as autobiographical. Semple hopes to highlight the anxiety crisis of the current generation, stating, “My generation is the fulcrum for decades of anxiety and we have been made so inert and fearful that we dare not even face it to understand what it is.” Semple shows this through material sampled from pop culture, highlighting themes of sex, violence, and horror. For instance, in Killing Me Softly, a new series created for the exhibition, saccharine 1990s pop lyrics are juxtaposed against stills from Italian erotic horror films of the 70s. Semple effectively silences the violence with the incessant sound of pointless pop music.

Although today society is interconnected in a way like never before, our culturally induced fears are at an all-time high: “We are fearful of strangers, unknown viruses, intimate relationships, one another, old age, death and ultimately bits of ourselves, because we are human and every day the media convinces us that humans are inherently perverse.” With the rise of technology and media, and consequently, shorter attention spans, the artist argues that our capacity to read static images has decreased. Thus, his return to representational painting and its slow, careful process suggests an attempt to look again and reconsider things that have perhaps moved past us too quickly.


Stuart Semple A While in Heaven


Stuart Semple Comatose Hangover


Stuart Semple Erased Cool Aid


Stuart Semple Zig A Zig Ah


Stuart Semple Beyond Command. An edition of 30 prints released in conjunction with the opening of Anxiety Generation

by Louise Lui 

Stuart Semple: Anxiety Generation will run from 12 Nov until 7 Dec, 2014 at Delahunty Fine Art, 21 Bruton Street London W1J 6QD

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