ORGAN THING | 18 September 2021

Kate Bickmore’s current exhibition, In Season, at Annka Kultys Gallery has been named as a “must-see” by Sean Worrall from Organ Thing.

ORGAN THING: Kate Bickmore’s must-see paintings went on show at the Annka Kultys Gallery last night…

By Sean Worrall

Off out for more art, things feel like they’re getting back, spaces are opening again, Kate Bickmore’s bold bright painting show opened at Annka Kultys Gallery last night, seven rather delicious, rather engaging, oil paintings. Big paintings, confident paintings, expansive paintings, seductive paintings, are I say sext paintings? “The artist uses her florascapes to explore new modes of perception, unconscious urges and systems of meaning”. Can’t claim to know that much about Kate, once again it was pre-show images on social media that enticed, that and the now established Annka Kultys reputation (there’s been some excellent shows in this space over the last three or four years). This exhbition is (playfully?) called In Season, you can’t help but like that, this is a show that will make you smile.  

“Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present In Season, an exhibition of new work by the London-based artist Kate Bickmore.  On show are seven of the artist’s immersive oil paintings that seductively interweave the surfaces, depths and desires of the artist’s experiences as a queer woman using Bickmore’s chosen visual language of florascape. While simultaneously presenting as both hyperrealistic and fantastical, the artist uses her florascapes to explore new modes of perception, unconscious urges and systems of meaning”

Hyperrealistic? If they are then it isn’t with that usual look-at-me-aren’t-I-clever tedium that hyperrealism comes with, these are warn inciting enticing paintings, they’re engaging and yes, they are seductive. These paintings flow, they move, they glow, they live…   

Says Bickmore of her process and preferred vernacular: “Within my paintings, I embrace the sensational pleasures, wonder, and enjoyment of plants as a powerful and elusive site of transformation. …The flowers in my paintings are given a majestic and powerful status – depicted not as victims or specimens of the objective gaze, but instead as living, breathing agents that can build consciousness and create a sense of connectivity.”

The artist’s mischievous choice of title for the exhibition really wasn’t needed, it was all there in the paintings.  “In Season is at once a reference to the cyclical nature of flowering plants and the successful growing periods for crops and yet is alsosynonymous with the period when a female (mammal usually) indicates it is ready to mate” so reads the gallery press release

This is (another) exciting show, you do know we only really bother covering the ones that we do feel positive about don’t you? This was one of a number of East London openings last night, wouldn’t want you to think we weren’t selective here, not everything gets covered, it does all come with a cynical smile (this was the only show that really excited last night). This exhbition and these painting are exciting, there’s a bit of a buzz here – “Kate Bickmore is an emerging artist (b. Albany, New York, 1993) presently living in London whose practice currently focuses on creating florascape paintings in oil, In Season represents the artist’s first solo show with a commercial gallery”. 

Kate Bickmore is new to us, apparently these paintings were created during what was obviously a rather productive lockdown period, she’s certainly one to watch, must go back for more without the crowds (it was busy last night), need to see more, art excites… (sw)

The Annka Kultys Gallery is at 472 Hackney Road, Unit 9, London, E2 9EQ. The show runs until 16th October 2021. For those who haven’t been to the gallery since the Pandemic, it has actually moved. No longer up those stairs above that shop on the main street, you now need to go around the back through the red gates in to the small industrial estate and the gallery is to your left at the back in the far corner.

Link to the article