BRITISH artist Chris Hawtin’s work at the FokiaNou art space in Athens these days, has an eerie, gothic feel to it. His atmospheric, chiaroscuro, and mostly miniature oil paintings (albeit with maximum detail), are heavily varnished to a glossy finish, exuding the character of an old master. Details such as the light filtering in through the patterns of an old abbey window, coupled with the frequent appearance of an ornate fairytale castle perched on a misty mountain top, add to this ‘olde worlde’ feel about them. The sublime depictions of the nature also hark back to the works of Caspar David Friedrich. But then, your eye falls on the strange cybernetic being also present in the pictorial equation, and everything changes. Many of these beings, uncannily resemble the shape of a cross. Are we in the future or the past? Add to this Hawtin’s sculptures (3-d prints of assemblages he has made from a variety of materials, including broken toys, which he has then painted over, and placed in glass bell jars), stand like exhibits of biological rarities in a 19th century freak show. Victorian Gothic, German Romanticism, Dungeons and dragons, Harry Potter fiction, mythological beings, post-apocalyptic video games, as well as the sci-fi movie genre all come to mind, when viewing this exhibition. This is a dark and mysterious world, of fictitious beasts and futuristic machines, lit by an angelic light. Hence the title of the show: ‘The Angel, The Engine’.
Born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom in 1974 Chris Hawtin attended Northbrook College, Worthing and Chelsea College of Art and Design. He has exhibited widely, including solo shows at Bearspace, C & C and No Format Galleries in London, Malgras/Naudet in Manchester and Artlounge Gallery in Lisbon, and a two person show with FilipposTsitsopoulos at EleftheriaTseliou Gallery in Athens. His work was featured prominently in The Immediacy of Paint: Surface symposium at the University of Suffolk at which he was a key speaker. Hawtin has participated in many group shows, most recently in The Sky’s Gone Out at Arthouse 1, London, and Life is Elsewhere at We Need Books Gallery in Athens. His work is in private collections worldwide and The Saatchi Collection, London.
- Chris Hawtin: “The Angel, The Engine”. Duration: 8 – 29 February 2020 Hours: Thursday – Saturday 17.00-20.00. FokiaNou Art Space: 24 Fokianou St, 7th Floor, Pagrati. Nearest Metro: Evangelismos http://www.fokianou247.gr