28 April – 28 May 2022
'I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.’
- Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Josh Lilley is proud to present New Lands, Tom Anholt’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
As with Thoreau’s Walden, Anholt’s protagonists go to the woods. They go to the sea, to the caves, to far flung lands and forgotten islands. They swim the depths and stride in the shallows, wade in the snow and cower in the rain. Quietly deliberate in their actions, theirs is a journey with no end but much to savour along the way. Whether actively exploring or momentarily pausing, they appear to be contemplating their place in the world, from humble park to cascading vista. Anholt is contemplating it too - placing his wanderers at the mercy of their landscapes, as much as in communion with them. Personal narratives subsumed within the casual disregard of greater forces, awe and wonder turned to humble acknowledgment of one’s fleeting relevance.
Nobility is present here, dignity and grace. But also humility, self-admonishment, shame. A bedraggled leader trudges in the moonlight in King in Exile, perhaps once vaunted, sodden in piercing diagonal rain. If Anholt is - in some small part - this sovereign to contrition, then he is also a diver who has plunged into paint itself or a hunter returning triumphantly from a plundering of art history. He too is searching, delving into his dearest touchstones and inspirations, bringing them to bear as a greater force in the world of his work. Liquidity, the flowing of the many waters in these paintings, is present in the tides of time and imagery, an eternal stream of painting to be swum in, travelled over, captured within its currents. To ponder the many pools of painting, it’s history and it’s hold, emerging anew, with love.
Tom Anholt (b. 1987, Bath, UK) is a graduate of the Chelsea College of Art. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at EIGEN + ART, Berlin and Leipzig; François Ghebaly, Los Angeles; Hakgojae Gallery, Seoul; and Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen. Anholt has been represented by Josh Lilley since 2017. The artist lives and works in Berlin.