17 May – 9 June



No 20 is delighted to present ‘Ceremony’, an exhibition curated by Jim Threapleton with works by Mike Ballard, Teresita Dennis, Philip Gurrey, Arthur Lanyon, Claude Temin-Vergez, Jim Threapleton, and Sarah Shaw.


Ceremony — an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. A physical demonstration, a material gesture testifying to an experience of limit, to the possibility of an encounter with the immaterial — an expression of the desire to ascend from the profane to the sacred. 

Under the tutelary spirit of French philosopher George Bataille, this exhibition brings together a group of artists fascinated by how paint moves — both in terms of plastic immediacy and subjective potential. Each refuses to discount a certain painterly-ness in the navigation of the territory between representation and abstraction. While such expressionist methods have been castigated, this exhibition aims to re-consider the materiality of gesture as the site of meaning where narrative and form collapse into subjectivity.

Painting has much of the ceremonial about it. Studio practice is riven with ritual — with the transubstantiation of pigment, canvas, panel, and oil. Image becomes contingent on a material act of faith, on a roll of the dice. While using disparate visual vocabularies, for these painters ceremony is a common language of chance, improvisation, and surface.


To read more about the artists, please click here.