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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Gas Chambers: Robert Priseman at Arch 402 Gallery

An unsettling look at the focus of the Nazi euthanasia program from British painter Robert Priseman.

Fri 20th January 2012, 11:00am – Fri 3rd February 2012, 06:00pm

Arch 402 Gallery, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD

Written by Amelia Gregory

Category: Art

Robert priseman gas chambers
Starting today, a new exhibition featuring the work of British painter Robert Priseman at Arch 402 Gallery. Gas Chambers takes a look at the mental hospitals such as Grafeneck Castle, where the Nazi euthanasia program took place in the 1930s. In a series of small delicate pencil drawings as well as large scale oil paintings the exhibition features depictions of the exterior of the centre where the final decision to kill eleven million Jews was made 70 years ago, alongside eerily beautiful empty spaces - the gas chambers themselves.

Grafeneck robert priseman
'The paintings are presented as similar in feel to hand coloured post cards and are designed to appear attractive in a way which belies their intent. Each painting shares the same horizon line and has a perspective which pulls gradually out over the course of the five works from a closely cropped angle in the first painting, to a very wide angle in the final painting. They also progress from a very thinly painted surface in the first picture of the interior of Bernburg to an increasingly heavily applied application of paint in the final depiction of Auschwitz. This application of paint creates a metaphor of a falling away of the ‘shower room’ pretense. This body of work, which is devoid of the human figure, aims to act as a meditation on the simple question – Why would an advanced society who produced Beethoven, Goethe and Schiller conspire to create the mechanisms of genocide?'

Robert priseman gas chambers
Robert priseman gas chambers
The exhibition opens on 20th January and continues until the 3rd February. See the Arch 402 Gallery website for more details. The gallery is open Wed-Fri 11-6 and Sat-Sun 11-3.