Luke Edward Hall at FRIEZE, No.9 Cork Street (November 2023)
FRIEZE played host to the solo exhibition of artist, designer and columnist, Luke Edward Hall, showing works from his collaboration with Seán Hewitt, 300,000 Kisses, a book reclaiming queer love in the myths of the ancient world.
Hall’s work is full of quick lines and simplification of form reminiscent, in particular, of the work of Jean Cocteau. The small scale watercolours from the book (which here adorned the walls) are beautifully evocative, having an almost throwaway quality because of the reduction of the figures to a handful of lines and the apparent speed at which they're painted. Bright and popping with colour, these pieces represent tales from mythology which suits Hall's depictions of the face, with their timeless resemblance to stoney busts excavated from an ancient site.
Less successful though, were the two large canvases in the exhibition. The scale defied Hall's deftness of mark-making with the paint being applied in too sketchy a way to cover the bare canvas and without the lightness achieved by the small watercolours. But still the statuesque figures had a perceived character which he seems able to muster effortlessly.
The book, 300,000 Kisses is beautifully printed and proudly shows off the bold colours in the Hall's watercolours alongside Laurel Prize-winning poet Seán Hewitt's words.