Christopher Green is an young contemporary artist from the Peckham area of London, who originally studied Graphic Design.
During his lecture, Green explained that he was always interested in “making” during his studies, but did not start exhibiting as such, until 2006/2007 when he moved into a run down house at 78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham. He shared the house with graduate friends – including fine artists and film-makers and together, they decided to make use of the dilapidated house (previously occupied by squatters) and transform it into a gallery space.
Over the course of 11 months, Green and his friends held 9 exhibitions in the Peckham house – open to friends, colleagues and anyone who was inquisitive about the space (the front garden area also displayed work and was therefore visible from the roadside).
During these exhibitions, Green came into contact with curator and gallerist Hannah Barry and was asked to be represented at her gallery in 2010 for his first solo exhibition Together Afar, 2010.
Green has also exhibited at Project Space 11 in Plymouth, Brussels Art Fair and Shoot the Lobster, New York, as well as having an artist residency in Tuscany.
During his lecture, it was difficult to pinpoint Green’s reason for making artwork – stating that he had “no specific intent when making paintings”. It became apparent that he was extremely interested in the formal elements and process of colour development, layering and texture – experimenting with materials including gesso, acrylic, oil, charcoal and even beer. Therefore, are his works purely expressive as opposed to having a researched concept?
Green mentioned that John Armleder was an inspiration to him and after basic, superficial research the influence is fairly obvious. Green explained that he didn’t like artist statements and it was clear from his answers, that he had no “specific intent” or agenda. Similarly “Armleder’s work has always resisted the manifesto, any form of theoretical attitudes or indeed, a social or political agenda” (Simon Lee Gallery, 2003).
Furthermore, Green briefly mentioned that he designed some of the furniture placed in his exhibitions (including the bench in the Together Afar, 2003 image). Again Armledder is also known for juxtaposing his paintings “with furniture or design objects” (Simon Lee Gallery, 2003).
Another inspiration for Green is Blinky Palermo an artist who insisted “on the expressive possibilities of painting” and known for “his reliance on poetic titles” (Tate, 2013). Similarly, although Green has no specific logic when first starting a painting, his titles are often based on subjective stories i.e. reasons for acquiring the paint used in a specific painting and/or dedicating it to the paint’s contributor. These titles could be described as poetic gestures and although the audience may not be able to understand the connection between the painting and the title, Green admits that the title acts more like “mystery, to draw the viewer in”.
Simon Lee Gallery (2003) John M Armledder [online] Simon Lee Gallery: London. Available from: http://www.simonleegallery.com/artists/john_m_armleder/
Tate (2013) Blinky Palermo. Tate: London. Available from: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/blinky-palermo-peter-heisterkamp-2317