Antonia Showering - Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Charity Auction London Monday, March 15, 2021 | Phillips
  • 'I am trying to integrate emotional experiences with abstracted form; the unexpected happenings when these two things meet.' 1

    This luscious painting by Antonia Showering appears at first glance to be an arcadian idyll. Set within a mountainous landscape, three figures gather around a body of water. The two figures in the foreground are on the verge of a tender embrace; with one arm outstretched and another concealed beneath the water, the central figure gestures towards intimacy.


    Derived from personal experience, the subject matter of people in water - a motif Showering has been exploring across many canvases for the last year - updates early 20th century depictions of bathers through a distinctly contemporary lens. Showering favours ambiguity and suggestion over any direct and straightforward narrative reading. Is the figure in the background in pensive repose, or an intrusive spectator of this couple’s meeting?


    Showering is one of the most exciting and promising painters working in the United Kingdom today.  Her paintings often teeter at the edges of representation and abstraction. With bright, jewel-like colours that overlap and blend together, her compositions are formed from recent encounters and deeply embedded memories.  The fragility of memory is suggested in Showering’s handling of paint, which gracefully fluctuates between ethereal layers of diluted pigment to built-up sections of opaque colour that overlap, obscure or reveal details in the narrative.


    The strong and vibrant palette of saturated colours recalls the experiments of Les Nabis and German Expressionists, Emil Nolde in particular, as well as the semi-abstract paintings of the Californian landscape by Etel Adnan.


    Painting in layers


    Showering begins her process by applying distemper on raw canvas laid flat on the floor. As she begins to paint, the pigments react with the ground, creating loose, abstract pools of colour that form the basis of her compositions.



    Showering continues by overlaying colours, creating richly layered compositions in which the previous marks remain visible. In Who do you follow?  these blended layers form an expressive and elemental sky – pinks, greens, yellows and oranges fluidly extend into one another. Showering’s approach to colour is intuitive, pairing pink and green or yellow and ochre in various atmospheric combinations.

    'Colour relationships are important 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.' 2



    In the studio



    Antonia Showering (born 1991, London) lives and works in London and Somerset. She graduated with a MFA from the Slade School of Art, London in 2018 and a BA (Hons) from City and Guilds of London Art School in 2016. Recent exhibitions of Showering’s work include an online solo presentation with White Cube (2020), Dwelling is the Light at Timothy Taylor (2020), and Out of This World at Stephen Friedman (2019). Residencies and awards include ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries SPACE (studio bursary), London (2019); ‘The Great Women Artists Residency’, Palazzo Monti, Brescia (2018); and Chelsea Arts Club, London (2017).


    • Description

      Image courtesy of the artist

      Condition reports, Lot descriptions and information in respect of Lots included in this Online-Only Auction have been prepared exclusively by Whitechapel Gallery following Whitechapel Gallery’s assessment of the Lots. Phillips and its staff are not responsible in any way for such statements, representations or opinions or for any other information provided in respect of the Lots, whether by Whitechapel Gallery, on Phillips website or in any other form.

    • Provenance

      Donation courtesy of the artist


Who do you follow?

signed and dated 'Antonia Showering A Showering 2021' on the overlap
oil on linen
51 x 41 cm (20 1/8 x 16 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

£4,000 - 6,000 


Contact Specialist

Charlotte Gibbs

Head of Sale, London

+44 20 7901 7993

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Charity Auction

Online Auction 15 - 23 March 2021