One hundred years ago only two in ten people lived in cities, but migration has recently nudged the global urban population above 50 per cent for the first time.
As more and more people come to the city, art increasingly reflects an existence that revolves around the move to, life in and development of urban centres. And a new exhibition of painting at Lion and Lamb Gallery in Hoxton reflects this sea change in how life is lived around the world.
In the City, curated and organised by Trevor Burgess, presents the work of nine international artists and their unique perspectives on life in the city landscape. The exhibition opens this month and runs until 11 October.
The work on display ranges from figurative representations of contemporary London in the paintings of Lee Maelzer and exhibition curator Trevor Burgess, alongside the more symbolic London canvases of Steven Carter.
Whilst several of the artists engage with London, the strong colours and atmospheric representation of South American subjects in the work of Aida Rubio Gonzales remind us of the wealth of urban realities beyond our city.
Paintings inspired by New Delhi by Tamnoy Samanta offer an abstract interpretation of the new mega-cities sprawling over India, and other work engages with New York, Dhaka, Toronto and Edinburgh, emphasising the international outlook of the exhibition.
When seen alongside each other, the artworks reflect the fragmentary nature of the modern urban landscape – sharp corners against amorphous shapes, hard lines and murky backgrounds. Burgess has brought together a varied line up of works that reflects the breadth of urban expression in contemporary painting, and challenges any perception that it is an ill-equipped medium to represent the modern world.
In the City is at the Lion and Lamb Gallery, 46 Fanshaw Street, Hoxton, N1 6LG from 20 September – 11 October