George Rouy

Smothered Awake


George Rouy. Three is a Crowd, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 118 x 86.6 inches (300 x 220 cm)

October 27 – December 8, 2018

Opening reception: Saturday October 27, 7 – 9 PM

Steve Turner is pleased to present Smothered Awake, George Rouy’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. The London-based artist will present five new large-scale paintings that depict simplified human figures in couples or in groups, that are bent, folded, compressed and interlocked so that their forms barely fit within the confines of the canvas. A sixth depicts a black swan similarly contorted with its neck dramatically bent. The paintings typically have no more than three colors, two of which predominate, which Rouy constructs from numerous layers of thinly applied acrylic paint. In so doing, he creates a wide range of subtle color variation within a broad passage. The combination of strange figuration and powerful color relationships elicits comparisons to Tarsila do Amaral for their rhythm and elongated contortion; to Georgia O’Keeffe for their canvas-filling compositions of life stilled; to Mark Rothko for their soft melding of colors and to Milton Avery for their combination of figuration and experimentation with color. Borrowing from a Rothko quote, in which he described his own motivations, Rouy seeks to “express basic human emotions–tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on.”

George Rouy (born Sittingbourne, England, 1994) received a Diploma in Art and Design from University for the Creative Art, Rochester (2012) and a BA from Camberwell College of Arts, London (2015). He has had solo exhibitions at Anna Zorina Gallery, New York (2018); Hannah Barry Gallery, London (2018) and J.Hammond Projects, London (2017). Smothered Awake was organized by guest curator Brooke Wise.

Born 1994 in Kent
Lives and works in London


2015 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, London
2012 Diploma in Art and Design, University of the Creative Arts Rochester, Rochester, United Kingdom

Solo Exhibitions

Smothered Awake, Steve Turner, Los Angeles
Leaking Visions of Red, Anna Zorina Gallery, New York
Squeeze Hard Enough It Might Just Pop!, Hannah Barry Gallery, London

In Dirty Water, J Hammond Projects, London

Coast of the Sun, Dot Project, London

Selected Group Exhibitions

01, PM/AM, London
Metamorphõseõn, Galerie Sultana, Paris
Rhapsodies, PingPong, Brussels
Extra, The Hole, New York
New Bad Painting, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
The Clean Carcass of the Host, Galerie Sultana and sans titre (2016) for CONDO, Mexico City
Form, Cob Gallery, London

The Unlimited Dream Company, Hannah Barry Gallery, London

Camberwell Degree Show, Camberwell College of Arts, London

GOLD, Oxford Street Space, London
2nd Year Show, Southwark Gallery, London

SPA, Elephant and Castle, London

Parallel Intervention, TATE Modern, London

In To The Garden, Bishop of Rochester’s Garden, London
UCA, Chatham Dockyard, London