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10/11/2022 - 17/12/2022

Contemporary - Painting


Martyn Cross - O happiness! happiness!

Wed-Sat: 11-6pm

Hales is delighted to announce O happiness! happiness!, Martyn Cross's debut solo show with the gallery. The exhibition features new paintings that muse on Gustav Flaubert's seminal book The Temptation of St Anthony.

Cross is primarily a painter engaged with 'world making.' The act of painting for him is a means to explore the inner life and strangeness of the ordinary. Each work begins in reality, with recognizable limbs and elements of landscape, which transform into uncanny scenes. Biomorphic landscapes speak to mythologies, but in Cross's paintings the narratives are knowingly ambiguous. Familiar and mysterious, quiet and epic, the scale and irregularity in proportion puzzles the viewer.

Known for paintings which are deliberately hard to place in history, there is a timelessness to Cross's works, reminiscent of unearthed artifacts. Paintings are made in contemplative layers; the pigments remain vibrant - his application and exquisite use of colour create works that hum. Sanding and scratching the surface, Cross strives to make paintings that have lived a life, the trace of their existence evident. Monumental hangings speak to a heroic narrative of higher powers, presented alongside small paintings which are jewel-like and intimate.


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Shoreditch 7 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA