Antonia Showering

Antonia Showering paints from fragmented memories to create intimate landscapes of love.

Showering’s work is acutely personal. With heady colour palettes that move with the seasons, she paints friends, family and other people she loves or has loved immersed in dreamy landscapes and domestic scenes. Nostalgic childhood memories represent the freedom of youth, while the comforting-yet-uncanny environments they are placed in explore notions of ‘home’ and belonging — informed by the artist’s English, Swiss and Chinese heritage.

  • Included in Whitechapel Gallery's Art Icon auction, London, 2021
  • Introductions | Antonia Showering, solo show at White Cube, London, 2020
  • Recipient of the New Contemporaries Studio Bursary from SPACE, London, 2019
  • Recipient of the Great Women Artists Residency at Palazzo Monti, Brescia, 2018
  • Bloomberg New Contemporaries, group show at South London Gallery, 2018
Nothing to hold onto
Nothing To Hold Onto, Antonia Showering, 2021.
Courtesy of the artist.
Sliding Doors, Antonia Showering, 2018.
Courtesy of the artist.

Showering’s studied technique centres on a process she describes as “stacking.” Her paintings begin with linen stretched onto a frame and then sealed with distemper. Next, she applies sweeping washes of diluted oil paint and adds broad, intuitive brushstrokes on top. These abstract marks form the base of the compositions from which she “picks” out figures in intimate poses — embracing, swimming, washing, kissing. The individual layers embody the cacophony of smaller memories that make up our ever-shifting identities.

Antonia Showering Studio Shoot
“The figures inhabiting my work are almost always people I love or have loved”

As well as drawing inspiration from painting throughout history Fauvism, Edvard Munch, Alice Neel, Tracey Emin and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye to name a few — Showering finds inspiration in her own work. “I think it’s important to look back and riff off or steal from your own paintings.” Sliding Doors (2019) is a portrait of five figures that Showering kept in her studio solely for this purpose. The colours are warm and soothing yet the subjects’ facial expressions are hard to read. At first the painting feels harmonious, but up close the varied application of paint exposes contrasting textures: thick impasto lines in the foreground set against swathes of pigment that drip, splatter and meld into one another. The amalgam of techniques in each singular painting is extrapolated across her entire practice constantly building, adapting and evolving.

Ungrateful, Antonia Showering, 2021.
Courtesy of the artist.
Bar/th, Antonia Showering, 2018.
Courtesy of the artist.

For Showering, the malleability of human emotion is plain. Through her canvas she seeks to “capture a truer description” of the memories that she holds as real. This process is fourfold: from reality to memory, melded with desires or wishes, to paint. By virtue of the physical process of painting, Showering calls into question what she understood as ‘reality’ to begin with, probing the hazy intersections of imagination, emotion, memory and dream. In her nuanced translations of personal experiences into a vast range of painted marks and balmy, quietly surprising colour combinations, Showering creates a new reality which, in it’s thoughtfully layered composition, is perhaps truer than the original ‘reality’ it was inspired by. In her own words: “No memory is singular. I think the more information you learn, the more every other memory you have stored is at peril of shifting and morphing.”

All artworks and images courtesy of Antonia Showering.
Studio shoot by Jake Millers.

Antonia Showering Studio Shoot
Antonia Showering Studio Shoot
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“It’s very liberating when the painting is in a slightly gross or unresolved place, because this allows the freedom to be much more adventurous and brave.”
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