Liz Arnold was one of the most original painters to emerge onto the London art scene in the 1990s.
She depicted cartoon-like animals seemingly imbued with human emotions and female characteristics. Inhabiting a world that is both fantastical and familiar these creatures are compelling in their observed detail and postures.
“I am really interested in exploring the grotesque and the fantastic as genres – and their ambivalent humour which is usually horror tinged and inspired by the absurd. I like to use humour – tactically – it can be seductive and the ‘cuteness’ of the work also allows me to deal with nasty stuff.” Liz Arnold
Inspired by films, cartoons, video games and fashion magazines, Arnold’s paintings are unafraid of emotion and storytelling. Their increasing sense of alarm is particularly evident in her later works which are prescient in their hyperbolic vision of prison-like paradises and bunker laboratories.
This posthumous exhibition was Arnold’s first solo exhibition in a public gallery. Curated by four artists: Richard Kirwan, Brighid Lowe, Bridget Smith and Daniel Sturgis, it provided a unique opportunity to reassess work from all periods of her brief but influential career.