May 5 – Jun 3, 2023

Brett Charles Seiler | LUKE, WARM

5 May - 3 June 2023

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Everard Read London is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Cape Town-based artist, Brett Charles Seiler, best known for his spare yet emotionally resonant paintings of male figures.

Following successful exhibitions at Galerie Eigen + Art in Berlin in early 2023, at M+B Gallery, Los Angeles in 2022 and at Everard Read Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2022 and 2021 respectively, this is Seiler’s first solo exhibition with Everard Read London.

Queer life is a central and recurring theme in Seiler’s work and is part of the deeply personal narrative that informs his practice. Seiler’s naked male bodies and intimate scenes contrast sharply with his titles and provocative texts which give voice to the stark experience of being outed by society and of growing up in a country in which homosexuality was illegal. The fragmentary lines of Seiler’s figures lend a sense of fragility, like fading sepia photographs “as if they could wash away into their surroundings at any moment. Their poses, and the way they hold and touch each other, [hint at] stories which are never fully revealed.”*

Seiler uses everyday materials such as bitumen and roof paint as his medium for astute observations and tender ruminations on the male body, domestic space, poetry, Queer history and literature, Christian symbolism, love, intimacy, and alienation. The scenes he depicts are frequently situated in his apartment or studio – a safe, private retreat where his protagonists interact with one another. Seiler creates an interior world of enticing ambiguity which seems to hover between desire and anxiety. His paintings may be populated with ordinary, domestic objects but they capture cinematic, freeze-frame moments - urgent or languorous - that have just happened - or are about to occur.

The shifting perspective of Seiler’s larger compositions - with flatness and depth represented simultaneously - destabilise our sense of time and place and engender a feeling that we are witnessing a moment which has passed but has been memorialised. The sketchy figures haunt the painted present, just as these images will linger in our minds with their sense of tenderness and intimacy as well as vulnerability and alienation.


 * Khanya Mashabela, Curator, A4 Arts Foundation, South Africa