Climbing the Underside of the Ladder brings together 10 UK and 5 LA painters 41 years after the seminal British exhibition “A New Spirit in Painting”.
Beginning with personal experiences of both the London Punk scene in 1976/7 and the 1981 Royal Academy exhibition A New Spirit in Painting, painters EC, Jenny Hagar, David Leapman, and Christine Stark, look at where contemporary painting is now, four decades later. For “Climbing the Underside of the Ladder” Durden and Ray invited 10 established UK and 5 LA painters to engage and debate the changes in contemporary painting since 1981.
As expressed in Peter Suchin’s accompanying essay, the New Spirit and Punk, true to their nature have not remained on a linear path:
“The regional and international interconnectivity of artists today, whether through physical exhibitions or digital reproductions is more heightened than ever before: a shimmering panorama, weave or tissue, a cloud, community, forcefield, synthesis, distillation, contradiction or concatenation of potential combinations. So, this is no New Spirit but something else again”