New Art Projects are delighted to present I’ll Drive, a new solo exhibition by James Crowther, which is his third show at the gallery. Crowther first exhibited at New Art Projects when it initially opened back in 2015, this time around he has returned with his signature cutout portraits.
During the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, Crowther has been creating cutout portraits that explore themes of identity whilst celebrating humanity. His process of separating the figure from the background denies the audience any other narrative or context to inform them, rather the finished ‘shaped’ paintings focus entirely on the sitter, emphasising physical differences in how we portray ourselves to the world. It is through his attention to detail and his skill at ‘capturing’ his subject that the sensitivity of their inner psyche is revealed.
For this new series, Crowther refers to the “un-celebrated in history; women – the inspirations…”, those who have had created an impact without the deserved recognition. His source material has been obtained directly from media sources including magazines, newspapers, photographs, screen-grabs and social media. Alongside the uncelebrated women, Crowther has also painted key workers who have faced the pandemic head-on. The exhibition takes its title from Crowther’s experiences with his mother and grandmother who would insist on driving home from excursions out to the local pub restaurant, at a time when drink driving laws were sufficiently less strict. Crowther also refers to the ending of Saudi Arabia’s status of prohibiting women being allowed to drive. The lifting of this driving ban in June 2018 celebrates women having the equal right to drive.
James Crowther is a British artist represented by New Art Projects. He has been shortlisted for the Sequested Art Prize 2021/22 at Unit Gallery and has participated in group exhibitions such as the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, 2021; Figurative Art Now, Mall Galleries, 2021; Figures & Faces, Andelli Art Gallery, Wells, 2020 and Spring Break Art Fair, New York, USA, 2019. Throughout the lockdowns of 2020/2021, Crowther also exhibited online with Fitzrovia Chapel, London and The Net Gallery.