It is apposite to be thinking about Goya while the world stumbles; if you think we’ve got it bad, with our pandemic, financial crisis, unstable leaders, wars and natural disasters, look at Spain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
History is replete with war and starvation, but Goya has an ability for penetrating hurt. Goya doesn’t exonerate the evils of individuals and groups, he amasses evidence of universal depravity. His trademark is detachment, and his work contains a layering of meanings. He masks his satire by using images that inspire multiple interpretations, mixing horror with ribaldry.
A Modern Capricho is very relevant today in our era of fake news and new normal. The work in this exhibition is eloquent and urgent enough, to be displayed in proximity to Goya’s Los Caprichos and create a contemporary dialogue.
Works include etchings by Nicola Bealing referencing the absurd tales conjured up in popular broadside ballads sung in 18th century London; prints from Jake and Dinos Chapman’s surrealist etching series ‘The Exquisite Corpse (2000)’ that are grotesque, ironic, humorous and deeply disturbing yet, like Goya’s Los Caprichos, totally unique and seductively beautiful; sculptures by Denise de Cordova feature the artist’s imagined beings that exist in the spaces between the trees; a set of etchings by Simon Marsh continue the artist’s interest in creating imagined, unexpected guests appearing on beaches; Rebecca Scott’s multi-layered prints continue the artist’s interrogation of voyeurism with an amalgamation of Goya and fashion; and a series of transgressive prints by Mark Woods, showing sculptural installations that conjure up feelings of power and terror, inviting the viewer to determine a narrative.
A Modern Capricho will be the first exhibition at Cross Lane Projects’ new gallery Vestry St in Hoxton, London. Visitors are invited into this uniquely intimate space to read, reflect, discuss and view contemporary art in a salon-like setting. Located in a private residence on the road that bears its name, Vestry St presents a programme of curated exhibitions and events by leading contemporary artists, both local and international.
The salon at Vestry St will be open every Saturday, 12 – 6pm, in June and July 2022, or by appointment.
6-8 Vestry St, London N1 7RENearest tube: Old Street