The Inward Journey of Alice Boyle


In this exhibition of new paintings, Alice Boyle's visually compelling expressionism suffers from overdetermination.

Lost by Alice Boyle

Boyle covers her canvasses with thick layers of bright colours, embruing them with both a rich texture and and an eye-catching vitality. The use of colour is reminiscent of Marc Chagall, but the paintings are pushed in a more abstract expressionist direction.

Each painting has been given a title by five different people. This is a strange case of overdetermination - surely the viewer doesn't need to have anyone mediate their interpretation of abstract paintings, let alone five. Apparently the basis for this comes from the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious, and explores the "importance of myth to humankind in the demythologized world we now inhabit."

It is hard to credit the notion that we inhabit a world which is demythologised in any meaningful way. Surely, even for a Jungian, the concept of a myth embeds something which is eternal in nature. This is why media semioticians can have so much fun with contemporary popular culture.

Furthermore, it is not clear how the presence of slightly cartoony figures superimposed on the otherwise abstract canvasses elucidates mythological processes. Together, all these factors betray a muddled concept which underlies an otherwise fine execution.

The Inward Journey is on display at 3 Bedfordbury Gallery in Covent Garden until the 21st of May.

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