Let Me See The Colts
5 October – 11 November 2023
Let me see the colts that will run next year
Show them to a gambling man thinking of the future
The all-seeing all-knowing eye is dog tired
And just wants to see the colts
- Bill Callahan, Let Me See The Colts
Josh Lilley presents Let Me See The Colts, the second exhibition of painting by Gareth Cadwallader at the gallery and the artist’s largest new presentation of work since 2019.
Marking a shift in artistic practice away from photography-based to drawing-based work, this evolving series adopts a more fluid technique, enabling Cadwallader to explore the potential for movement and fluctuation, and for unexpected forms to emerge.
Through a complex layering of specific literary, visual and autobiographical reference, the artist circumvents any singular interpretation, encouraging the viewer to find a more personal pathway through the work. Painted over a four-year period encompassing lockdown, Cadwallader brings together a series of intimate scenes, loosely connected through the suggestion of absence, and often depicting young people - ‘colts’, whose futures lie in wait. An adolescent guitarist alone in a shed, a teenage drummer without drums, a father and son tentatively reaching for a starfish, or a trophy room without trophies. Resisting a specific linear narrative, the works and characters are instead bonded by a sense of apprehension or restlessness.
Cadwallader’s elusive, associative subjects and kaleidoscopic practice reflect a state of suspension. But, like the title of the song, the works carry the same pressing plea: to be shown the future in the hope that our anxieties will be subdued.