The Contemporary Art Society has recently acquired a painting by British-Palestinian artist Rosalind Nashashibi for Southampton City Art Gallery. Nashashibi works in various media from film to photography, installations and painting, she also works collaboratively with artist Lucy Skaer. In her work, daily life intersects with fantasy and the mythological and often exposes the tension between public and private spaces. Like her films, her paintings encompass both impressions and more figurative depictions, creating collages of everyday life.
Since 2014, Nashashibi’s paintings started to engage with place through organic forms rendered in vivid colours. South of France continues in this style, yet incorporates the everyday through the nylon tights draped over the canvas. Nashashibi refers to the natural world and the body, evoked through the nylon tights and the layered brush strokes which create a natural sense of softness and depth to the landscape and an insight into the artist’s mind. The tights hang situated between the oval forms, suggesting a liminality between the mundane and the idyllic. The leaves Nashashibi depicts are pink and purple like the colour of fruits or flowers, rendering an uncanny space referring to the imperfect nature of memory.
The mass-produced nylons hanging over the scene represent legs in the sun. These tights mimic a figure rather than creating a figurative depiction, producing a closeness to the feeling of a body and the notion of retreat, paradise and painting. Nashashibi describes the title as being an ‘offhand and vague reference’, as it is a subjective take rather than a direct reference. The landscape refers to the light, colours and atmosphere of the South of France, a place the artist links with Matisse, Bonnard and Monet. The composition created with the blended bright and muted blue hues in the background has also played a role in one of Nashashibi’s more recent works A Drop of Scent (2020) created during her residency at the National Gallery.
Southampton City Gallery holds an impressive collection of work, particularly 20th century contemporary painting. The Post-Impressionist holdings in particular complement Rosalind Nashashibi’s contemporary take on the subject matter of French Post-Impressionist painting. Her work contributes to the strength of the collection and highlights its remarkable expansion over the last 80 years.
Rosalind Nashashibi (b. Croydon, 1973) lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include GRIMM, Amsterdam (2020); S.M.A.K, Ghent (2020) and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2019). Recent group shows include Kunstmuseum, Luzen (2021); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2020) and Centre Pompidou and Forum des Images, Paris (2019). Nashashibi participated in the 50th and 52nd Venice Biennale and Documenta 14. Nashashibi was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2017 and was Artist in Residence at the National Gallery, London in 2020. She is also a Reader in Art at Goldsmith’s, University of London.