Cathy Ward: Sub Rosa. Solo Exhibition at The Horse Hospital, London

During Frieze Week, the underground and avantgarde art space The Horse Hospital in London has opened a solo exhibition with works by Cathy Ward. Titled “Sub Rosa”, the show features paintings, sculptures and a video. Among the highlights are the 23-ft long painting “Phantasmata”, which makes its UK debut; the immersive film “Realm”, and three site-specific abstract caryatid sculptures that encase the 221-year old buildings original cast iron support pillars. The exhibition runs until October 27, 2018.

Cathy Ward: Sub Rosa. Solo Exhibition at The Horse Hospital, London. Opening, October 4, 2018.

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Press text:

1961, Marcel Duchamp predicted: “The great artist of tomorrow will go underground.” Visionary artist Cathy Ward returns to the Horse Hospital with the UK debut of her magnum opus ‘Phantasmata’ — a 23-ft long painting that upends the contemplative intimacy of her well-known obsessively detailed scratchboard drawings of cosmic energy patterns and fancy hairdos.

Marking Ward’s first time exhibiting in the subterranean chambers of the 221-year-old veterinary stable, her solo exhibition “Sub Rosa” is underground in every sense of the word. But even apart from the literal and the Duchampian, Ward’s multimedia works evoke a hermetic abyss of half-remembered dreams and mythological underworlds.

Los Angeles critic Genie Davis described ‘Phantasmata’ as “epic in size and scale, appearing as braided rope, silk cords, feathers, fur, chains, flowers, embroidered fabric – the stuff and scope of dreams.” This major work is paired with the equally immersive film ‘Realm’ which translates two decades of drawings into a seething, hypnotic virtual reality landscape.

On view for the first time ever will be three site-specific abstract caryatid sculptures encasing the building’s original cast iron support pillars — spiralling fractal psychedelic evocations of the regenerative erotic feminine principle — blurring the borders between outsider architecture, pagan iconography, and recovered alien technology.

Supplementing these major pieces will be a selection of new and classic works, time-warped in from Ward’s early Horse Hospital shows ‘Transromantik’ (2000) & ‘Sacred Pastures’ (2008) offering a range of microscopic vistas that are as intimately mesmerizing as the new large-scale installations are immersive and sublime.

Sub Rosa is part of the programme celebrating The Horse Hospital’s 25 year anniversary.

Exhibition supported by The Elephant Trust.

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