From the 10th until the 28th of June, Mayfair will be aglow with the youthful and arresting Generation Y exhibition, comprised by the work of thirty emerging UK artists of Platform Foundation. Curated by Kate Bryan, arts broadcaster and Head of Collections in Soho House, the multi-media collection aims to promote artists whose potential has not yet been fully realised.
In an industry saturated with greed, Platform Foundation is a non-profit breath of fresh air. All the proceeds made from the sales of the artist’s works during the exhibition are reinvested into the programme. The profit gleaned from the exhibition will also be shared with charities that likewise support artists, in addition to charities that nurture the vulnerable youth of British society. Platform Foundation’s main goal is to promote their under-recognised artists through an annual programme of curated exhibitions, mentoring workshops and talks. Curator Kate Bryan expressed that she has “wonderful visions of seeing them in museums in the not too distant future, something they deserve”.
Generation Y is a colourful and fresh collection of exciting work based on a wide range of different mediums, styles and concepts. Despite this incongruity in subject matter and approach, each work has a distinct youthful freshness in common that is a pleasure to witness. For example, Vivien Zhang, who we had the pleasure of interviewing, manipulates paint in a way that appears digital. She uses her multi-national life experience as artistic inspiration, drawing upon visual apparatus of the West and the East, the traditional and the modern, to create an interesting fusion that very much is in tune with our rapidly globalising world.
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Vivien Zhang
Her work complements that of Matt Ager, who like Zhang draws upon the ‘found’, not through multi-cultural experience however but through found objects. His sculptures centre around the concept of reinvention and challenge the viewer to consider what a sculpture really is, thus deconstructing ideas of taste and identity. He removes his materials from the context in which they are traditionally found and uses them to create bold hybrid forms and replicas. Thus, both artists draw upon the idea of the fusion of identity yet executed in very different ways.
The exhibition also features figurative art. Exemplary of this is France-Lise McGurn’s chromatic ink paintings that recall the delicacy of Françoise Gilot’s portraits. McGurn, however, favours the fluid over the angular, which gives her paintings an exquisite yet effortless aura. Her figures are inspired by imagery that she collects from film, art, advertising, and television. These sources perhaps endow her work with a sense that the figures are in flux, and this transience creates an ambiguous narrative that, as a viewer, is very stimulating.
Equally, photographer Gina Soden draws upon ideas of the transient in her haunting images. Abandoned locations as her point of departure, ranging from derelict asylums, closed schools, collapsed palaces, to city power stations. By capturing these forsaken places, she delves into ideas about decay, beauty, nostalgia and neglect. The photographic mode allows Soden to capture these forgotten places forever in an image, holding still their deterioration, remembering a place once forgotten. Thus there is a strong sense of narrative in Soden’s work too, despite being photographic and non-figurative. The selling exhibition thus shows, as Kate Bryan stated, “a diverse range of mediums and approaches. But one thing that unites these artists is that they are all undeniably bold and exciting new talent.” 
The exhibition Generation Y is on view until June 28 at Platform Foundation, 10 Hanover Street, London.
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Marie Jacotey
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Marie Jacotey
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Henry Hussey
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Henry Hussey
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Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings
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Matt Ager
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Matt Ager
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Sebastian Jefford
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Tom Pope
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Gina Soden
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Declan Jenkins
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Sarah Maples
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Danny Augustine