Love

2016

Jonathan Cooper, Park Walk Gallery, London

In June 2016 Rebecca Campbell returned to Jonathan Cooper with a solo show of over 20 new paintings. In this exhibition Campbell explored the pleasures and sorrows of love in all its myriad forms, journeying through passion and temptation, the agony and anticipation of courtship, and the bitter-sweet memory of lost love.
Whether depicting the great romances of history and literature, the comfort of familial love, or the modern mores of dating in the digital age, Campbell approaches this enormous theme with great sensitivity and humour, and all visitors, whatever their experience of love, will find works which delight and inspire. Read more

Love can be tough. It can be infuriating. It can be obsessive. Love has destroyed empires, and unraveled the best laid schemes of mice and men. And yet, and yet..

Love fuels us. It provides a glimmer of hope in the darkness, the spark of joy that gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Love drives us through life. It has inspired painters and poets, musicians and writers, throughout the ages, and across the globe. To an artist as brimming with ideas and imagination as Rebecca Campbell, it provides endless opportunities to explore its multi-faceted influence on our lives.

Love is both an all-encompassing and startlingly ambiguous word, a far cry from the varied and precise lexicon of Ancient Greek, with its Agape and Eros. The phrase ‘I love you’ can be a long-awaited milestone in a new relationship, or uttered without hesitation between friends and family.

This exhibition is an homage to the myriad forms of love, its universal and timeless reach, from the ancient world and Renaissance Italy to the golden age of Hollywood, through India and China. It is a journey through passion and despair, the agony and anticipation of courtship, and the bitter-sweet memory of lost love. Rebecca has travelled widely, and the rich pictorial language of her work testifies to its diverse cultural inspirations, from Mughal miniatures to contemporary art, literature and music. It began, as all love affairs do, with temptation: the first painting in this new series of work fittingly sets the scene in the Garden of Eden, with the perils of forbidden fruit, and ends with ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’, a tribute to love in the digital age. From familial love to illicit trysts, these paintings provide a visual soundtrack to our existence, and in them one thing is clear: while the language of love might be changing, romance never dies.

Love - Rebecca Campbell