MASQUERADE featuring Jonny Briggs, Ryan McGinley, Julie Cockburn, Alison Jackson, John Stezaker, Minhong Pyo, Virgilio Ferreira, Anne Collier and Matt Lipps
High House Gallery is a new Oxfordshire gallery dedicated to promoting the best in contemporary art. Situated within a grade II listed Victorian mansion and recently-restored formal gardens located in the Oxfordshire village of Clanfield, the gallery promotes only the best in critically-engaged contemporary art. The innovative exhibition programme features both solo shows and curated group exhibitions from an international roster of gallery and invited artists.
The next exhibition to be held at High House Gallery is Masquerade, a group exhibition bringing together a selection of innovative and award-winning international contemporary photographers, who push the boundaries of portraiture through a variety of techniques. Both established and emerging, these artists share a fascination with depicting the human face and body, but their works lie far outside the realms of conventional portraiture.
The subjects within the show are distorted and manipulated. The images have been cut, layered, collaged, painted or stitched over, prompting the viewer to question the perception of reality. Some of the portraits have been enhanced, or entirely faked; faces may be out of focus, overexposed, turned away or blocked from sight. For many of these artists their images are part of a more extensive conceptual whole, alluding to other meanings, questioning accepted ideas or referring to social, cultural or internal worlds.
Portraits have traditionally served a documentary purpose. The camera has acted as a window to the world, representing a personal, historical, ethnographic or cultural truth. The reality however is far more complex: rather than being a purely factual medium, artists often use the camera to disguise the truth depending upon their artistic agenda.