Ann-Marie James: Proserpina

6 March–10 May 2013
Karsten Schubert, 5–8 Lower John Street

Karsten Schubert is delighted to present Ann-Marie James’ new ‘Proserpina’ paintings in the artist’s first solo show at the gallery.


In this series, James takes the inspiration for her paintings from Bernini’s ‘Rape of Proserpina’ (1621-22) and ‘Apollo and Daphne’ (1622- 25) – and, by extension, from Ovid’s epic poem, Metamorphoses. James ‘quotes and re-cuts’ her source materials, knitting her references together and creating a new symmetry of transformation, from the oral poem to the linguistic text, to carved stone and back to paper – a metamorphosis of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The paintings are accompanied by drawings made on image plates found by the artist in Richard Norton’s Bernini and Other Studies (1914).


These intricate paintings are built-up through layer upon layer of not only material, but also techniques. From the initial drawings come a silkscreen, and then, at various points, James adds layers of thick medium, expressionistic splashes of acrylic and blobs of ink. Throughout, she highlights different moments with delicate and precise drawing around a spot of paint or a stencilled limb.