Recently picked up by the V&A permanent collection, Chris Agnew is a skilled artist who is adept at both drawing and painting. But it is his signature technique of etching on panel that makes his practice so distinct. Focusing on the fluctuating processes of constructing and deconstructing political, religious and sociocultural belief systems, Agnew finds inspiration in classical works. His love for historical etchings is evident in his use of complex geometric patterns and tessellations. Stating that the latter arises from the need to “seek and observe rhythms and patterns at work in nature and particular events”, Agnew takes great care in deploying images that are invariably linked to his subject matter.
He says of his work: “Past truths are unobtainable, but you can remove the possible corruption of future truths. [My work] could be described as an almost anarchic look at history, but with optimistic intentions for the future.” He merges figures from both history and the present, creating new narratives that question the concept of absolute truth as monolithic and attainable.
The Mighty Grip of Fate is on from 10 January to 9 February.
ArtEco Gallery Ltd, 533 Old York Road, Wandsworth, London SW18 1TG
Images courtesy of the artist and the gallery.