Rebecca Salter - Brussels - Installation view
Rebecca Salter - Brussels - Installation view 2
Rebecca Salter - Brussels - Installation view 3
2022-11, mixed media on Japanese paper, 98 x 66 cm, 2022, Rebecca Salter
Rebecca Salter, 2022-13, mixed media on muslin/paper 62 x 47 cm, 2022

We are delighted to present the first solo exhibition of British artist Rebecca Salter PRA (b. 1955, United Kingdom) in our Brussels showroom at van Volxem 333.

Exhibition dates: 03 July - 21 September, 2024

The exhibition showcases a careful selection of Rebecca Salter’s highly detailed drawings executed over the past few years. Salter’s works spring from process-based experimentation rooted in the idea of craftsmanship. The layering of neutral tones suffuses the work with an ethereal quality, offering a tranquil, yet spellbinding, response to nature.

At times Salter covers her complex compositions with a wafer-thin, slightly translucent layer to mute the blackness of the ink and achieve softer tonalities and structures like in 2022-22. Especially important to Salter is the Japanese concept of shibui (literally “astringent”), which refers to an aesthetic sense of unobtrusive beauty that balances simplicity with complexity.

Salter’s use of soft muted tones and interest in textural visual effects echoes the ever-present Japanese aesthetics she cherishes. The works she makes are heavily detailed minimal abstractions; with a particular emphasis given to the interplay between marked and unmarked space on the canvas or paper.  As in the Rasa series, which comprises 21 small format watercolours on Japanese calligraphy paper, created in Lisbon, Portugal. Here Salter combines local use of architectural space and her approach to ‘blank’ space and emptiness (tabula rasa).

Her distinctive drawings are formed from small, repeated marks made with a variety of tools. Some are made with clouds of tiny ink spots, like 2023-12, while others comprise almost mechanical and repetitive puncture marks as in 2022-11, a technique that that emphasises the work’s status as a three-dimensional object. The use of different types of Japanese paper allows the ink pigment to be absorbed causing the image and substrate to fuse into single objects.

Rebecca Salter PRA studied Bristol Polytechnic and then at Kyoto City University of the Arts remaining in Japan for several years after her studies. While living in Kyoto, Salter researched traditional Japanese woodblock printing with Professor Kurosaki Akira and has since written two books on the subject. Her interest in printmaking is combined with her main practice in painting and drawing.

The artist was elected as a Royal Academician to the category of Printmaker in December 2014 and, in June 2017, was elected as the Keeper of the Royal Academy. In December 2019 she was elected the 27th President of the Royal Academy of Arts becoming the first female President since the Academy was founded in 1768.

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