Shapero Modern in conjunction with Sladmore Contemporary is delighted to present Still Reading, an exhibition of paintings by Nancy Cadogan and sculptures by Martin Jennings. Cadogan’s oil paintings of books are shown alongside bronze maquettes and busts from Jennings's statues of literary figures.
Cadogan’s paintings engage with ideas of time and a private dialogue with literature. The genesis for the series originates from 2011, when she made her first book paintings for the London Antiquarian Book Fair. They capture the immense potential and excitement of reading and the possibilities of language within their diminutive scale. In one sense, the works are typical of the still life genre and record a sense of time passing. In another, they reflect on the concept of stillness more widely, as a rare condition within our hyper-networked contemporary reality, and instead celebrate quiet reflection.
As Cadogan has stated, ‘The book - the actual physical paper bound object full of words - is a treasure in this modern era. A book contains an entire universe you can only bring to life in your imagination, if you agree to give it time. It is a tribute to privacy, an honouring of the interior life.’
Image: Nancy Cadogan, When the Lights Go Down, 2017