Celia Paul: My Studio

    26 June–25 July 2020

    ‘My flat – which is directly opposite the British Museum – is also my studio. It is high up, on the fourth floor, a climb of eighty steps. The nearly empty rooms serve the purpose of being receptacles for the light.’ — Celia Paul

    Celia Paul’s art is founded on deep connections – familial, creative, looping back and forth across time – to people and places, and is self-assuredly quiet, contemplative and ultimately moving in its attention to detail and intensely felt spirituality.

    Paintings completed during these past months focus on the artist’s home and studio, a place that sits at the very heart of Paul’s enquiry into the complexities of interior and exterior life, constancy and change. Subjects include its familiar fixtures and sparse furnishings, transfigured by changing light, and the London landmarks visible from its windows, such as the British Museum, rendered strangely quiet during the lockdown, and the BT Tower, given added resonance as we are made to adjust our avenues of communication.

    The exhibition is also available to view via the App Store on Vortic Collect as part of London Collective, a new section on the Vortic Collect app that brings together 42 of the UK’s best commercial galleries to present exhibitions on the new extended reality app for the art world. We are delighted that Celia Paul: My Studio, an exhibition with the city at its heart, is our first presentation for London Collective.

    Last year Victoria Miro established a studio space in Venice for invited artists to spend extended time in the historic city and make new bodies of work. During a recent two-month residency, Flora Yukhnovich used the opportunity to engage more fully with Venetian culture. Her sources include the music of Vivaldi and the memoirs of Casanova, in addition to one of her key influences, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose works including ceiling frescos in the Ca’ Rezzonico museum and the Chiesa Santa Maria della Visitazione she was able to study first hand to create this new suite of paintings for this exhibition.

    Flora Yukhnovich: The Venice Paintings is presented by Victoria Miro in association with Parafin and is available to view both here and via the App Store on Vortic Collect.


    1

    Oil on canvas
    147.3 x 147.3 cm
    58 x 58 in

    Celia Paul, My Chair, 2020

    My Chair is a self-portrait, really.’ — Celia Paul

    ‘I’ve been here since 1982. This is a painting of one of two identical chairs that were given to me by my dearest friends Angus Cook and Jonathan Caplan who live in New York. My studio is in the room next to the one where I sleep. One chair is in the corner of my studio where my models always sit. The other one (this one) is next to my bed – I usually rest my alarm clock on it. My Chair is a self-portrait, really .’

    Vortic installation view

    2

    Oil on canvas
    25.4 x 30.5 cm
    10 x 12 1/8 in

    Celia Paul, British Museum, Morning, 2020

    Oil on canvas
    25.4 x 30.5 cm
    10 x 12 1/8 in

    Celia Paul, British Museum, Night, 2020

    ‘I am on a level with the figures on the frieze on the front of the pediment of the British Museum. The little figures in the forecourt look as tiny as ants, in comparison.’ — Celia Paul

    Vortic installation view

     


    3

    Oil on canvas
    63.9 x 56.4 cm
    25 1/8 x 22 1/4 in

    Celia Paul, St George’s Bloomsbury, Bright Spring, 2020

    ‘There’s a little balcony (about the size of a small table) leading off from my kitchen. It faces south and is a real sun trap. I sit on my balcony with a cup of tea during breaks from painting and look at the spire of St George’s, Bloomsbury over the roof-tops and watch the antics of the pigeons.’ — Celia Paul

    Vortic installation view

    4

    Oil on canvas
    101.6 x 101.6 cm
    40 x 40 in

    Celia Paul, Room, Great Russell Street, Morning, 2020

    ‘When I wake up, the first things I see from my bed are these huge figures of the Muses carved into the triangular summit of the pediment.’ — Celia Paul

    Vortic installation view

    5

    Oil on canvas
    148 x 77 cm
    58 1/4 x 30 1/4 in

    Celia Paul, Tower, Tree, Museum, 2020

    ‘There’s a beautiful plane tree right outside my window. Behind it, and to the left of the British Museum, the BT Tower rises up like a strange totem pole.’ — Celia Paul

    ‘Everyone has to rely on the internet and the telephone as never before; I haven’t seen anyone, apart from supermarket staff, for over two months. I Skype with my son and his wife and my four year old granddaughter and one year old grandson every day. I speak on the phone to my husband twice a day and Zoom with my four sisters every Saturday. The BT Tower is a sort of life-line.’

    Vortic installation view

    6

    Oil on canvas
    35.6 x 17.8 cm
    14 1/8 x 7 1/8 in

    Celia Paul, BT Tower and Plane Tree, 2020

    Oil on canvas
    35.6 x 17.8 cm
    14 1/8 x 7 1/8 in

    Celia Paul, BT Tower, Museum, Stars, 2020

    ‘The BT Tower is a sort of life-line.’ — Celia Paul


    7

    Oil on canvas
    142.2 x 142.2 cm
    56 x 56 in

    Celia Paul, Figure Approaching the British Museum, Seen Through Plane Tree Branches, 2020

    Oil on canvas
    63.5 x 55.9 cm
    25 x 22 in

    Celia Paul, British Museum and Plane Tree Branches, 2020

    ‘I am inspired by the visionary legacy of the place.’ — Celia Paul

    ‘When the full moon floats in the sky, facing south, it makes me think of romantic sea voyages. I think of Shelley, who spent his last night in England in a house in Great Russell Street, before setting off for Italy where he was to die so young. I think of other spirits who have lived nearby: W.B.Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Mew, William Blake, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Gwen John, Walter Sickert. I am inspired by the visionary legacy of the place.’

    Vortic installation view

    Celia Paul

    About the artist

    Panorama of studio and portrait © Gautier Deblonde

    Born in 1959 in Trivandrum, India, Celia Paul lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Celia Paul, curated by Hilton Als (Pulitzer Prize-winning author, staff writer and theatre critic for The New Yorker and associate professor of writing at Columbia University), which originated at the Yale Centre for British Art in 2018 and subsequently toured to The Huntington; and Desdemona for Celia by Hilton, at the Gallery Met, New York (2015–16). Paul’s paintings were also included in All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life at Tate Britain, 2018.

    Last year, Jonathan Cape published the artist’s memoir, Self-Portrait, to great critical acclaim. New York Review Books will publish the US edition in November 2020. Many of the quotes featured here are drawn from the chapter My Studio. Paul has recently finished working with filmmaker Jake Auberbach on a documentary about her life.

     


    Vortic Installation

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro for London Collective on Vortic, 26 June–25 July 2020. All works © Celia Paul, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    About London Collective on Vortic Collect

    London Collective is a new section on the Vortic Collect app, bringing together 40 of the UK’s best commercial galleries to present exhibitions on the new extended reality app for the art world.

    London Collective consists of 42 art dealers and gallerists who came together in recognition that this is a defining moment of change in how art is accessed. Whilst a number of London galleries have recently reopened, travel and other restrictions mean many people are still unable to visit exhibitions in person.

    In the London Collective section of the Vortic Collect app, galleries will show specially curated presentations, providing them with an additional virtual space to complement their physical gallery programmes.

    The new initiative enables galleries to support one another by sharing their audiences and enables visitors to simulate the experience of visiting multiple London gallery locations.

    Learn more about Vortic here.

    For enquiries regarding featured works and other matters, please contact the below:

    Victoria Miro: salesinfo@victoria-miro.com

    Vortic: enquiries@vorticxr.com

    Submit an Inquiry


    To learn more about this artwork, please provide your contact information.

    By sharing your email you agree to Victoria Miro’s Privacy Policy.