Tate Britain is displaying the Peter’s Series, eight new paintings by Hurvin Anderson. These works reflect Anderson’s fascination with places of social interaction, while also engaging with traditions of abstract painting. The exhibition is part of Tate Britain’s Art Now programme, which reflects the latest happenings in contemporary British art. It consists of up to five exhibitions a year which demonstrate the quality and variety of new art in the UK.
Born in Birmingham of Jamaican parents, Anderson draws on the influence of both regions. This new series focuses on a small attic space in a private home that has become a make-shift hair salon and meeting place. The paintings serve as a loose historical record of Caribbean emigration from Jamaica to Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, barber-shops were opened in people’s homes, serving as places for social gatherings, as well as for economic enterprise. This particular shop is one of the last-know spaces of its kind.
The earlier paintings concentrate on the architecture of this room, drawing the viewer into a domestic interior that is at once familiar and other-worldly. An almost abstract quality haunts these images, in which geometric shapes and anecdotal objects stand against a background of dazzling cobalt blue. Later works focus on an anonymous human figure in a chair, depicted with an air of detachment which introduces an unsettling, voyeuristic quality to the series.
Hurvin Anderson was born in Birmingham in 1965. He now lives and works in London, having studied at the Royal College of Art, 1996-98, and Wimbledon School of Art, 1991-94. His work has previously been exhibited at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, and was most recently on display at Thomas Dane Gallery, London, earlier this year.