George Rouy is magnetic. His strikingly slim figure and cropped, bleached hair is finding a place on the European runways, however, it is the solitude of the artist's studio where Rouy spends most of his time. Despite being only twenty-nine and having graduated from Camberwell College of Arts just eight years ago, after his latest exhibit "PRESENT TENSE" in Somerset, George is now the youngest artist to be represented by Hauser & Wirth in collaboration with Hannah Barry Gallery.

George has already shown at several solo exhibitions, including Almine Rech in Paris, Peres Projects in Berlin, Anne Zorina Gallery in New York, and Hannah Barry Gallery in London where, his recent solo-exhibition BODY SUIT was presented.

George Rouy's last solo-exhibition, "BODY SUIT," is a captivating showcase of paintings pushing physical representations and boundaries. Presented at Hannah Barry Gallery in London, 2023.

The latter is Rouy's artistic home and the gallery that represents him. Based in Peckham, an artistic milieu in the south of the city, gallerist Hannah Barry is renowned for identifying and developing emerging artists who work across several genres, disciplines, and mediums. Founded in 2008, the gallery took on the artists at the forefront of the notorious 'Peckham Squat' at 78 Lyndhurst Way. For the last thirteen years, Barry has preserved the values of the Lyndhurst collective: freedom, youth, and risk; the same values that made the likes of James Balmforth, Bobby Dowler, and Oliver Griffin some of the most innovative artists in the capital.

Gallerist Hannah Barry, an M.B.E. and a leading figure in London's artwork, was among the first to recognize the immense talent of artist George Rouy. With a keen eye, Barry has consistently championed emerging artists, propelling them into the spotlight of the contemporary art world. Her unwavering commitment to nurturing creative talent has made a lasting impact on London's cultural landscape. Hannah Barry

Rouy is certainly walking in the footsteps of some mighty British names; however, his style is remarkably distinct, working primarily with distortions of the human form, his figurative paintings are abstract, ambiguous, and dominated by rich blue and red hues. These pieces are ultimately unsettling and, at their most extreme, grotesque. Commenting upon his own work, Rouy describes the process of 'Defacing one figure but then including a face on another, abstracting another figure, so it no longer looks human but still showing them both within the same world.' In this sense, the shape of the body reflects the turbulence of the mind. Rouy recognizes this overlap, commenting upon a 'psychological rhythm' to the process of applying paint to canvas. His relationship to his materials is charmingly oxymoronic. Rouy isn't bothered by expensive paints and tools; however, whatever he does choose to use, he selects with a hypersensitive nous for texture and color. He blends his own pigment powders to develop novel textures, which alter the applied paint's visual appearance.


George's last exhibition at Peres Projects in Berlin exemplified his move from single subject pieces to group pieces. This direction has forced Rouy to rethink his approach to space within the canvas. He explains, 'I had to learn to allow areas of the canvas to be empty and other parts to be chaotic; I want it to feel intense rather than crowded.' However, his recent work also marks a move towards more explicitly sexual and unsightly forms; Rouy admits, 'I am naturally reacting to the time. Things aren't pretty at the moment, and I'm exploring that with the work.' His work has always been inspired by the likes of Chris Ofili and Peter Doig, but his recent creations draw on the abstract yet controlled approach of the celebrated Cecily Brown: 'I feel really inspired by painters who can achieve that level of abstraction while still retaining the form. It's a difficult balance to get right.'

In London, George's last solo exhibition, "BODY SUIT," was a captivating showcase of paintings pushing physical representations and boundaries. Presented at Hannah Barry Gallery at the end of 2023, this collection of works explores the realms of the unconscious mind, the world of fantasy and imagination, and lived experiences. With a delicate interplay of contradiction and resolution, these works embody a profound belief in the power of art to transcend conventional limitations.

In this work, George's paintings grant equal importance to the human figure's physical and psychological experiences. They serve as a profound reflection of navigating the intricate line between internal and external perspectives. "BODY SUIT" invites viewers to immerse themselves in a multidimensional exploration of the human form. George's masterful compositions lure us into a dance of introspection, where every canvas becomes a portal to an alternate reality. These captivating works beckon us to contemplate the complex interplay of identity, perception, and existence.

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The backing of Hannah Barry is an emphatic endorsement itself. At the end of 2020, Barry collected an M.B.E from the Queen for services to contemporary art, cementing her status as an important figure in the London scene. Art is both aesthetic and an asset; Barry understands this and has become a go-to name for collectors in search of young promising talent. In April, 2021, Phillips auctioned a new piece by Rouy entitled Through the Window. The painting blew estimates out the window, eventually selling for over thirty thousand pounds – three times its tag. Described as one of this generation’s most promising painters, collectors are picking up on his value, anticipating a boom for Rouy’s compelling visual representation of the inescapable.

To find out more about George Rouy's work, visit Hannah Barry Gallery, here

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