Spotlight: London-Based Artist Catherine Repko Explores Transition and Relationships in New Large-Scale, Figurative Paintings

Presented by Huxley-Parlour in London, the show includes works created over the past year.

Artist Catherine Repko. Courtesy of the artist and Huxley-Parlour, London.

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What You Need to Know: On view through January 13, 2024, London-based gallery Huxley-Parlour is presenting a selection of new, large-scale paintings by local artist Catherine Repko in “a new season’s dawning.” The artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, the works are the culmination of a year of artistic exploration into the rituals and symbols associated with change and transition. The present body of work also mark’s Repko’s return to the incorporation of marble dust into her oil paint, contributing to each paintings texture and material readability, and evoking traditions of fresco painting. The show is accompanied by an artist’s book, offering readers and viewers additional insight into Repko’s practice and resulting works.

About the Artist: The U.S.-born, U.K.-based Catherine Repko (b. 1990) undertook initial studies in art and design at Chelsea College of Art, London, before earning her B.A. in visual communication from the University of Brighton in 2013. She then went on to study painting at the Royal College of Art, where she received her M.A. in 2021—the same year she was awarded a Valerie Beston Artist’s Trust Prize. In the short time since Repko’s graduation, the artist has developed a hallmark style recognized for its simplified forms, nuanced use of color, and emotional resonance. Much of her practice centers on human relationships and ideas around time and memory, and she frequently uses her three sisters and their relationships as a starting point for her artistic lines of inquiry.

Why We Like It: Though Repko’s paintings in “a new season’s dawning” could be classified as figurative, the minimalist rendering of the human form make them seem instead indexical of the body—understood instead as perhaps shadows or reflections of the body. Reduced to their barest essentials, each detail takes on heightened symbolic significance; completed in her signature, muted palette, the angle of a profile, or inclusion of an ear, each element bares the weight of the work’s compositional meaning or interpretation. Figures depicted impossibly close or overlapping still seem isolated, as they are turned away from one another, or, alternatively, appear in concert or procession facing the same edge of the canvas. In pieces like a summer recital (2023), the bodies are full of movement, with the composition cropped beneath their heads lending focus to the hands, torsos, and legs. Together, completed in hues of red and yellow, the image creates the sense that it is showing a memory, composed perhaps more with visceral emotion than detailed reality.

See inside the exhibition and featured works below.

Installation view of “Catherine Repko: a new season’s dawning” (2023). Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour, London.

Installation view of “Catherine Repko: a new season’s dawning” (2023). Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour, London.

Catherine Repko, the founding (2023). © Catherine Repko. Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour, London.

Catherine Repko, matriarch (2023). © Catherine Repko. Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour, London.

Catherine Repko, a summer recital (2023). © Catherine Repko. Courtesy of Huxley-Parlour, London.

Catherine Repko: a new season’s dawning” is on view at Huxley-Parlour, London, through January 13, 2024.

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