Charlotte Mensforth’s exhibition. Indian Summer.

nuded figure. 15 cm.

Still life. 38×40 cm

Still life. 22×29 cm.

Cochin. 17,5×11,5 cm.

Perhaps we should begin by explaining the double meaning to the title of this exhibition. It has on the one hand an obvious interpretation for those who know the untiring quest for colour light and space of a constant traveller whose most recent adventure a month in India, is the principal inspiration of this exhibition.

Yet on the other hand, in English, the expression ‘Indian Summer,’ evokes a rebirth of warmth which accompanies the miraculous light of autumn and heralds the arrival of winter. In a Spanish expression we might say ‘ Veranillo de San Miguel.’The phrase ‘An Indian Summer’ can also be used to describe that flash of brilliance which comes to some artists in their later years. A Summer’s rebirth in the Autumn of their lives.
Here movement and harmony of dance are shown nearly as acrobatic yet apparently  anonymous, and it is as though they had been  interrupted at a key moment in time. 
Her passion for the horse is also shown in its movement. The horse through it’s very energy has created space that is all but tangeable.
The frontier between figurative and abstract disolve in an unforgiving light. Light is the final unifier. Colour shape and background become as one.

Born near London, the painter Charlotte Mensforth is noted  for portraiture landscape and still life, but is also known for her sculpture.
But to return to the main subject of this exhibition, the painting.
We can see that colour is the recurring theme. Always present colour is here in the treatment of the fabrics, in the interiors and still lives. Or by the rendering of nature. In the gardens, landscapes or still lives, where the flowers and the fruit are protagonist. And especially in this exhibition where we see her love of colour depicted in the tea plantations of India, the fishing boats at Cochin drawn up on the beach, in the costumes of the Kathakali actors, the saris, the multicoloured flowers and through that ever revealing light, diaphonous and nearly elusive. As if this light of Southern Indiahad reinvented a different orange, yellow or ochre, found new fruit and flowers all beneath a burnished sky of unparalled splendour. Yet a luminous sky where colour has become servant to a season  not so recently past. Yet present there is also too the memory of the spice which grows near the high hill stations, and their prescence  invades the houses and their very cuisine. All  melt as one.
Perhaps unknowingly Mensforth has always created space, especially in her painting, inventing as it were imaginary space, the distance between two objects making of itself another object. A relationship that Matisse called ‘ decorative.’ 
                                                                                    Text: Nuria del Río Pinto

                                                                       Suficiencia Investigadora Universidad de                                                                                Granada. Historia del Arte
Source: Nuria del Rio

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