Antonia Showering - 20th Century to Now London Friday, June 30, 2023 | Phillips
  • “Colour relationships are importnat to me; sometimes they need to sit harmoniously with one another and other times a slither of its complimentary colour can enhance or detract from the atmosphere of the painting."
    —Antonia Showering

     In Antonia Showering’s Don’t Make a Ripple creamy ochre mountains intersect with skies of verdant green and fiery red fields to build a landscape that feels simultaneously familiar and uncanny. Existing outside a specific place or time, a contemplative figure sits on the edge of a pool rendered in overlapping hues of pink, orange, blue and green; their gaze fixed on the body of water before them. Unfolding in vibrant and jewel-like tones, Showering’s idyllic landscape inhabits the space between reality and imagination, creating a work that feels deeply personal and universal at once. Her richly layered paintings are coloured with ambiguous narrative. What has caused this figure’s anchored gaze? Their reflection, a memory, a revelation?


    In the foreground of the canvas, a second figure emerges from the jostling pool of colour, a ghoulish extension of the hidden depth below. Gentle washes of emerald depict this figure like a dream, melting into the pool as if a vision conjured by our gazing central figure. Showering’s thoughtful layering of paint renders the figure more than a dream through a dark outline, on the edge of narrative and ambiguity, a place where Showering’s canvases beautifully sit.


    I want to recreate intimate, universal moments drawn from my own experiences, desires and worries, but painted with enough ambiguity for the viewer to recognise something from their own realities in the work."
    —Antonia Showering

    Building on a canvas washed in distemper, Showering begins her works with pools of pigment that she builds up, turning the canvas until abstract forms emerge. These forms then reveal glimmers of figures or landscapes to Showering, whose intuitive process moves to the ethereal. Continually layering vibrant hues, Showering works away areas of definition to create gradations of colour. This layering and rubbing back - pentimento - leaves a beautiful trace of the earlier marks that have been painted over, creating the dream-like effect that is a hallmark of her canvases and nod to the ephemerality of memory. Speaking to Katy Hessel of The Great Women Artist Podcast and an early champion of her work, Showering explained the centrality of this reductive technique to her practise as a ‘really important way of trying to capture the fleeting nature of memory.’[i]


    Born in London to an English father and Swiss-Chinese mother, Showering draws from characters and places from her own life. Looming mountains - a motif that is ubiquitous in Showering’s canvases - draw from the landscape of Switzerland where she would visit her Grandparents. The natural structures that framed these distant memories feeling like ‘an anchor’ in her life.[ii]

    Painted during her formative time at the Slade School of Fine Art, the present work was exhibited as part of Showering’s MFA degree show in 2018. Her visual language of dreamlike and complex narratives shines through in this animated canvas, including key elements of the young artist's practice which draws favourable comparison to the vibrant and mystical works of the 19th Century Les Nabis group.



    [i] Antonia Showering, quoted in Katy Hessel ‘The Great Women Artists Podcast’ minute 12:17, online.

    [ii] Antonia Showering, quoted in Katy Hessel ‘The Great Women Artists Podcast’ minute 16:04, online.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 2018

    • Exhibited

      London, Slade School of Fine Art, Slade Shows, 6 - 17 June 2018
      London, Pi Artworks, An Ode to Orlando, 4 - 26 February 2022


Don't Make a Ripple

signed, titled and dated 'Antonia Showering. 2017. "Don't Make a Ripple" Antonia Showering' on the overlap
oil on linen
160.4 x 129.9 cm (63 1/8 x 51 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2017.

Full Cataloguing

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £114,300

Contact Specialist

Leonor de Osma
Head of Sale, 20th Century to Now
T +44 20 7901 7912
M +44 7584 086 052

20th Century to Now

London Auction 30 June 2023