Richard Kennedy’s inaugural exhibition at Patricia Low Contemporary, titled POP AUF, comprises ten new paintings arranged on the lower ground floor of the new gallery.
Featuring Kennedy’s vivid palette and rolling textures, the new paintings are densely, beguilingly layered, in a performance of gestures. Poetry is scratched into and painted onto the surface, with plays on words and repetitions providing momentary holds for the gaze, before it is seduced anew by swirls and drips of acrylic paint.
POP AUF is itself a play on the expression to “pop off”, meaning to say something carelessly and in anger — a loaded term often weaponised against Black people in the US.
The title also calls to mind Pop Art, in particular Andy Warhol.
Some of the works feature floral motifs inspired by Warhol’s flowers, but also Cy Twombly’s. In this way, Kennedy recalls prior generations of queer artists and their use of “feminine” motifs in their work, furthering that tradition while simultaneously subverting current conversations around queer identity.