Lisha rooney image

Lisha Rooney

Chloe Wise's 'Not That We Don't'

Gallery: Almine Rech Gallery

Timing: showing until May  18, 2019

Chloe Wise pieces, including eight oil on canvas works, sculptural installations, and one video, on show in her solo exhibition ‘Not That We Don’t’ @alminerech until 18 May.


Within the paintings, we see colourful, populated portraits – not dissimilar from those we’ve seen on social media – some with the same cast of characters. Under the facade of shiny fabrics and perfectly manicured nails and brows, something else is brewing. It may not be entirely sinister, but it certainly is sexual, possibly orgiastic. And objects such as hand sanitiser, aluminium foil, and tissue; headless limbs; and text and images on shirts allude to control. 

Roland Barthes posited that ‘purifying products’ ads covertly enforced an eradication of threatening entities. He saw soap as no different than religion or state – refuges which ‘supposedly’ protect us from the threat of abjection. Wise has chosen to extend the canvas to sculptural installations covered in the same carpeting as the floor, and offering tissue and kitchen roll to… clean up any messes? 

Responding to why she paints portraits, Wise said: ‘As humans, it’s the first thing that we decode. We have to be able to understand such a vast array of facial nuances and expressions in order to decode everyday life without getting preyed on or getting left behind by our group. Body language comes into play, but there’s a little more in the face. It carries so much information, and it’s vital.’ 

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