County Gallery | If You Know How to Get Here, Come | Tomo Campbell

November 19 - December 1, 2021

COUNTY is pleased to present Tomo Campbell’s solo exhibition If You Know How to Get Here, Come.

 

            London-based artist Tomo Campbell’s new paintings traverse realms of history and myth by way of the English countryside. Medieval unicorns, classical Greek leopard-riders, members of an aristocratic hunting party, and figures transported from the paintings of Bruegel and Rubens find themselves wandering together through fluctuating landscapes of multihued paint. The figures are classical and archetypal, and they appear to be engaged in an epic quest. But where is the “here” they are passing through, and how does one reach it? The title, If You Know How to Get Here, Come, is playfully ambiguous, promising inclusion without offering directions. We may enter the paintings, but we must find our own way.

 

            Much like the great masterpieces of Rococo art, these paintings are full of visual games. Campbell delights in juxtaposing opposite painting processes—fast versus slow, translucent versus opaque—to heighten the spatial ambiguity and dreamlike atmosphere of his scenes. He stretches and warps space like de Kooning and toys with foreground/background reversals in the manner of ukiyo-e Japanese masters. And like a pleasantly recurring dream, each painting in the exhibition represents a unique reimagining of familiar motifs. Campbell may zoom in on an image from the background of one piece and bring it to the foreground of another. Colors may reappear in conspicuous new combinations. Campbell’s mythical creatures and heroes play hide-and-seek with the viewer as they duck in and out of abstraction. The conceptual and narrative openness of each work allows viewers to create their own stories and discover their own meanings through the open-ended journey of looking.

 

            If You Know How to Get Here, Come is Tomo Campbell’s first solo exhibition at COUNTY. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions include Q Contemporary, Hong Kong (2022) and Cob Gallery, London (2020). Previous solo exhibitions include Cob Gallery, London (2018) and Gallery Voltaire, Melbourne (2017). Campbell has been featured in numerous group exhibitions and fairs including UNTITLED Art Fair, Miami (2021); Veil, Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh (2018); Dallas Art Fair, Texas, USA (2017); Palm Tree Gallery, London (2015); Rushgrove House, London (2012); and Motion Gallery, London (2010). His work has been reviewed in Wall Street International, Frieze, PAPER, i-D, and Financial Times, and is included in significant private collections. Campbell was awarded the first artist in residence place at the English National Ballet, which he participated in between 2012-2013.

 

Logan R. Beitmen

November 19, 2021