Tommaso Corvi-Mora is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Che Lovelace, his first at the gallery. Che Lovelace’s paintings weave stories of life, freedom, and post-colonialism in his native Trinidad into a tapestry of abstracted landscapes, still lives and portraits. As he has said: “One of the things that artists can do is that we can… save something from becoming cliché.”
While initially reluctant to totally engage with local iconography and subject matter, he eventually completely embraced the landscape, the people, the colours. His depictions of the rhythms of Trinidadian life have been informed by his rootedness there, first growing up in the rural countryside village of Matura, then working within an artist cooperative building in an industrial part of town, before again returning to the outskirts of Port of Spain. Lovelace likens his material and formal interventions - such as cleaving the canvas into quadrants and dissecting the picture plane - to exploring Caribbean selfhood as an integration of antecedents, as the result of the interaction between different cultures creating a completely new one. Lovelace’s fascination with Caribbean iconography is a metaphorical expedition through postcolonialism, resistance, freedom, mythology and nature. The result is a complex and nuanced expression of his own sense of identity, deeply rooted in the “genius loci”.
Che Lovelace received his training at l’Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts de la Martinique. Solo exhibitions of his work include “Bathers”, Nicola Vassell, New York City (2023); “Presented as Natural”, Various Small Fires, Seoul (2022); “From the Edge of the Rock”, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2021); “New Paintings”, LOFTT Gallery, Port of Spain (2018). Group exhibitions of his work include “Uncanny Interiors”, Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York (2022); “Still Life: An Ongoing Story”, Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva (2019); “Get Up, Stand Up Now”, Somerset House, London (2019). His work is in the public collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, X Museum, Beijing, CH, and the Aïshti Foundation, Lebanon. Lovelace lectures at the University of the West Indies Creative Arts Campus.