Mitch Griffiths, Realisms at the State Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in partnership with the Halcyon Gallery, unveils 21 works by celebrated British artist Mitch Griffiths as part of a remarkable new exhibition: Realisms.
The paintings, selected by Dr. Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage Museum, will be available to view at the historic institution until 18 September. The unique opportunity to exhibit at one of the world's largest and most prestigious museums of art and culture marks a seminal moment in Griffiths' career, and follows the success of the artist's most recent solo exhibition, Enduring Freedom, at Halcyon Gallery in 2015.
Working in oils and echoing the tableaux of the Old Masters, Griffiths produces modern paintings that address issues of identity and inclusion, obsolescence and conflict. A virtuoso painter, he employs a hyper-realist technique, working the canvas through the traditional chiaroscuro and utilising a single light source to both shape and highlight his figures on the canvas. Touching on themes of nationhood, iconography, 'cult beauty' and celebrity culture, Griffiths is holding up a mirror to society.
The collection on display at the State Hermitage Museum, which includes two diptychs and two triptychs, spans the breadth of Griffiths' artistic concerns for more than a decade, beginning with an ode to corporate greed (21st-Century Boy, 2006), musings on the impact of war upon individual souls (Finest Hour, 2015) and the most recent, never-before-seen The Things They Carried (2016) which references the current refugee crisis with breathtaking urgency.