Maria Chevska: Framing Vision

TheRoomThatFilledWithSuspicion_i_2016_17CurtesyOfTheArtist (1).jpg

The Room That Filled With Suspicion (I)


Jessica Jordan-Wrench will be responding to Chevska’s work, in the Project Space, through voice, in a short performance Re-Framing Vision on Saturday 1st December at 2pm. This will be followed by a discussion with both artists, to which the audience is encouraged to contribute.

Please register on Eventbrite:

or contact Liddicoat & Goldhill curator Lucy Howarth for further details:

Referencing Marcel Duchamp’s Étant donnés – described by Jasper Johns as “the strangest work of art in any museum” – the upcoming installation at Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space, Framing Vision, is designed to encourage the viewer to encounter the work of Maria Chevska through a limiting frame.  The work, including both painting and sculpture elements, is presented in an enclosed arena; how to approach it, whether or not to cooperate with the installation's directives, remains a choice for the viewer.  

Primarily a painter, Chevska has moved away from the traditional singular canvas, and is developing a mode of placing paintings within architectural spaces. She does this by, for example, abutting a number of canvases in a form that unfolds from the floor and rises upwards on the wall, above head-height – these works are of human scale, some taking a cruciform, figure-like shape. Chevska will then add  accompanying sculptures, that are intended to be in ‘conversation’ within the gallery space, and, open to interpretation through a performative collaboration with the viewer. Aspects of Chevska’s recurrent motifs – displacement, diaspora, the nomadic home, permission, limitation, hope – are explored in Framing Vision.  Like in Duchamp’s Étant donnés – a tableau of a kind is presented, and the viewer is restrained, or offered restraint as an option.

This installation offers the viewer both the ‘controlled’ gaze through horizontal slots in a wall, and unfettered access to the works, free from direction and arbitration.  This ‘framing’ invites and encourages closer inspection, emphasising the ‘frame’ of critical apprehension, and curatorial presentation. The effect on a viewer might be heightened curiosity because of what seems hidden from sight, and the view seen through the peepholes becomes a site of intense focus – producing a durational activity of looking. Methods of framing have long been considered an essential aspect of completing a painting. What is a frame? How expanded as a form can it be, in order to remain a device for seeing?

About Maria Chevska

Maria Chevska is foremost a painter, but she also works through sculpture, drawing, and installation. Her practice is regularly informed by poetry and the written word.  Chevska was a Professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford (1991-2016). She is currently on the Faculty of Fine Arts for the British School at Rome.  Recent solo exhibitions include Guests from the Future (with Simon Morley), Galerie8, London (2011), From the Diary of a Fly (in dialogue, Philip Akkerman), Mummery&Schnelle, London (2013) and Dubious to Reason, Vane, Newcastle (2014). Her major solo exhibition Vera’s Room, toured to Maison de la Culture, Amiens, France (2002), Kunstpunkt, Berlin, Germany (2003) and Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, USA (2005).  Recent group exhibitions include Abstract Apartment, Deborah House, London (2015), It is one thing to sing the beloved, Dada da Academy at Parallel, Vienna, Austria (2016), the horizontal within, the horizontal without, Lubomirov-Hughes Gallery, London (2017) and Art and the Word, Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki, Finland (2017). Chevska has received awards from Arts Council Great Britain (1977), Gulbenkian Foundation (1982), Greater London Arts Association (1984), the Austin Abbey Award, British School, Rome (1994), Arts Council England (2004), British Council (2002-2005), and DACS ART360 (2017).  Chevska’s work is represented in many public, private and corporate collections including Arts Council England Collection; British Council Collection; Brasenose College, University of Oxford; New Hall College Cambridge; DACS; Bolton City, Oldham Art Galleries and the Hepworth Wakefield Collection. The monograph Vera’s Room, The Art of Maria Chevska, by Tony Godfrey, and Hélène Cixous, was published by Black Dog in 2005.

Framing Vision builds upon Chevska’s ongoing project, Vera’s Room (begun in 2000).  Image overleaf: Maria Chevska, The Room that Filled with Suspicion (i) 2016/17, oil paint on linen, paper, pvc tape, overall size from floor: 229x77cm, projecting from the wall 31cm, courtesy of the artist.

Jessica Jordan-Wrench  explores immediacy in live and installation art, both in terms of performer presence and modes of spectatorship within the audience experience. She is a founding member of noisy theatre company Dot Dash, alongside Eoin Furbank, and a freelance writer.  She was an associate at Open School East in 2017 and is currently exhibiting with Bloomberg New Contemporaries.

For more information on this exhibition please contact Lucy Howarth:

Find us all on Instagram, Twitter and FaceBook:



Private View
Friday 9th November, 5-7pm

Featuring an accompanying performance by Jessica Jordan-Wrench Saturday 1st December, 2pm

Exhibition Dates
10th November - 8th December

Wednesday-Saturday 11-3
or by appointment, plus opening for tours and evening events

Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space Studio 1
The Printworks
Union Row