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26/06/2021 - 22/07/2021

New Work - Painting


Adrian Coleman - Citizens of Nowhere

Taymour Grahne Projects presents Citizens of Nowhere, a solo exhibition by British born – American artist Adrian Coleman (b. 1984).

Coleman makes large watercolour paintings of South London that address broader themes of identity, estrangement, and belonging. The pieces mainly depict the area of Brixton, where Coleman lives and keeps a studio, although the work evokes an atmosphere and urban texture common to the city's outer boroughs.

Coleman employs watercolour as a reference to historical British landscape painting. As Britain evolved rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, painters such as Turner sought lasting meaning in the picturesque portrayal of old buildings and countryside.

The paintings juxtapose traditional and contemporary British imagery: pewter skies, Victorian architecture, Brutalist social housing, women in headscarves. The conflation of motifs infers both pluralistic and, to some, contentious notions of British identity.

From a personal standpoint, Coleman's work examines the paradox of his own relationship to Britain. Born in the UK to a mixed family, he was raised in the United States and returned to London in his thirties, arriving as both a native and an outsider. Theresa May notoriously described such individuals, caught between worlds, as "Citizens of Nowhere." Yet where exactly is Nowhere? Is it the No Man's Land of diasporic complexity?


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