Spider Dream: Richard Colman's New Body of Work @ V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
If a spider has crept into your dreams recently, those who interpret such matters indicate that the leggy arthropods symbolize “the feminine power in your life, like a mother figure or a side of your personality that predominates.” For years, Richard Colman has been exploring this balance, where female characters sort of become fully realized or are composed in a kaleidoscopic energy of color and form. Literal balance is inherent in his work, as well, characters and figures that lift and hold various objects in their arms for your viewing pleasure. I’ve always perceived Colman’s shows as these bursts of how a balance of reality and the subconscious weigh on an artist in their studio, absorbing the color wheel and applying each brushstroke.
And in 2020, balance is key. How much news do you read, how much do you give up in a pandemic, how much do you participate in a social revolution and how does the mind take it all in and make art with it. Richard Colman is set to open Spider Dream at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen from September 18—October 17, 2020, a body of work where “Realizing the dream was not a dream, but a very real reflection of self, culture, country and a world in a radical state of flux.” Or again, as the gallery notes. “Paintings composing themselves in response to this state of emergency.” Colman talks about how the act of creating, or even articulating one’s feelings or emotions in such an uneasy and uncertain time can feel futile. Spider Dream feels like a roller coaster of expressions, some clean, some overwhelmed with color and emotion, and a few harkening to Colman’s older works of almost existential simplicity.
For almost this entire year, we have written about and documented what it is to be making art in uncertain times, and Spider Dream is a reminder that our conflicting feelings, indeed, have validity out in the world. V1 calls it “Turning apathy into resilient resistance.” That seems like the best place to start our recovery. —Evan Pricco