The Wick List

Viewing Tom Anholt, New Lands at Josh Lilley

Glittering figures battle against shards of rain, wading through waist-deep water and hiding behind trees slicked black against the bright snow. We’re not in a Bear Grylls survival camp – we’re at Josh Lilley gallery for the opening of Tom Anholt’s New Lands exhibition.

As famously stated in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, ‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived’ Inspired by Walden, in this show, Anholt’s protagonists go to the woods. They traverse across land and sea, eerie colours emerging in the moonlight. Their destination is unknown but important, the figures’ quiet deliberation visible in the journey. The New Lands presented here are the place of myth, of exiled kings and Shakespearean heroes.

Berlin-based Anholt typically works to a theme for each exhibition, having previously completed a series of portraits and of trees, allowing him to work across several shows at once. On his creative process, he quotes Picasso: ‘With constraint comes creation’.

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28 April 2022 — 28 May 2022
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Photo: © David Parry/ Royal Academy of Arts
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