Grove Collective is pleased to present the upcoming exhibition Four Painters and a Photographer, a group exhibition featuring artists Alfie White, C. Lucy R. Whitehead, Darin Cooper, Dylan Rose Rheingold, and Grace Mattingly, on view at the gallery’s Berlin sister space, Backhaus Projects, from July 9th to July 24th, 2022. This is the first time that Grove Collective has worked with Cooper or Rheingold, and marks the first time the artists have shown together.
The exhibition is posited as an exercise in serendipity, both in spirit and in meaning-making. Bluntly titled, Four Painters and a Photographer is exactly what it is purported to be: an exhibition of four painters and one photographer. But in their combination, the exhibition creates a site for thematic and visual consonance where it may not have formerly existed, and encourages the viewer to understand the collection of works in a positivistic way, asking what meaning is created in excess of simply its constituent parts. Indeed, how do Rheingold’s works, evocative for their invocation of female bodily function, counter Mattingly’s almost mythical feminine figures, or coalesce with Whitehead’s fleshy, pink bodies? Likewise, how do the communal cultures that Darin Cooper works within intersect with London-born Alfie White’s street scenes?
Bringing each artist into foreign territory (Rheingold and Cooper both work in New York, while Whitehead, White, and Mattingly work in London), the opportunity to decontextualise their work creates an space for equal re-contextualisation. Cooper and White, perhaps the most geographically bound in their practices, are examined quite literally in a new light, asking questions of how the specificities of Virginia, in Cooper’s case, and London, in White’s case, are translatable to the Berlin public. The universality of Mattingly, Rheingold, and Whitehead – who each probe questions of femininity and the body writ large – invite their co-exhibitors to be understood in new terms.
For Grove Collective, Four Painters and Photographer proves an opportunity to work with both Cooper and Rheingold, two new additions to the gallery’s program, as well as to expand their already sizeable footprint in Berlin. As co-founders of Backhaus Projects, the rise of the space within the local Neukölln and Berlin community has been a privilege for the gallery to watch, and a testament to the strength of their local partners Amaan Hassen and Ash Smith. Now, Grove Collective looks to leave its imprint on a location and space that is of deep personal import, bringing exciting contemporary art to the neighbourhood and city.