William LaChance: (After) Edge City at BEERS London
Best known for his brightly coloured abstract works, William LaChance’s vibrant exhibition welcomes all those who enter the BEERS London Gallery to a vibrant feast for the eyes. LaChance’s works have covered the plain white walls of the gallery in endless streams of colour, LaChance has even gone so far as to paint the walls of the gallery themselves in his stunning and vibrant style, fully immersing viewers in a pool of colour.
The exhibition is named (After) Edge City, which refers to a concentration of shopping, commercial, and other businesses that displace a previously suburban area. ‘Edge City’ refers to the inevitable growth in urban centres that push residential inhabitants outward, resulting in a ‘mega city’. The Edge City was supposed to represent an ideology and a fantasy of Modernity, almost a kind of fantasy world restrained by reality. Modernity usually makes us think of art such as Calder’s mobiles, Picasso or Braque, who created a sort of utopia within their art. These modernist cities suggest a utopian world, but different to how we know it, and as the 80’s and 90’s grunge scene emerged it replaced the fantastical and colourful utopia with a more gritty, and less glamorous scene, offering gridlock cities that lacked colour, glee and ideology. Commercialism triumphed over idealism.
Now the idea of a modernist utopia seems nostalgic, which makes LaChance’s works even more wondrous and magical as he reawakens the rich and vivid fantastical world that we almost left behind, breathing new life into the retro art scene in his own beautiful fashion. LaChance has created, within the walls of the gallery, his own utopia as the rainbow collection of paints flow across the canvas’ and over the gallery walls. This utopia is a safe space away from the busying and grey streets of London, offering viewers a place and a chance to reminisce and experience an imagined world.
The pictures in this exhibition have no boundaries or formality, they are free. The works display fleeting glimpses of LaChances deconstructed utopia: a glimmer of light on a car, text from a road sign, a steady slice of blue - perhaps from the horizon. This collection of works is a celebration that embraces modernist idealism. (After) Edge City envelops viewers with its flattened, pop style and candy colours that recognise a longing for an imagined past - for the ‘retro’ time when we were allowed and encouraged to dream about the future as a gleaming convergence of burning lights and festival of colours.
William LaChance’s (After) Edge City is on at BEERS London until 26th May 2018. More information may be found here.