Cangeles is an artistic project by Michael Lawton (1980, Sheffield, United Kingdom), which hybridizes pictorial practice and writing. Lawton naturally alternates both disciplines, but in Cangeles for the first time he has worked on them simultaneously. The project began within the framework of a residence in Hangar, developed in part during the first pandemic confinement. Lawton then began the writing of a fictional novel (Cangeles Book One: The Map Makers) which for the present exhibition he has synthesized into 10 brief chapters. The text is framed in a fictional suburban city, in which the author describes powerful visual images that he is interested in narrating: an abandoned barn, a vacant lot in ruins, a library full of life, a greenhouse, an imaginary marriage, a flood of a laboratory… Scenarios and impressions that Lawton transfers onto the pictorial canvas, through a celebratory, fiery and vital style.
Despite the speculative appearance of his story, Michael Lawton is an artist who wants to reflect on the current world. The author considers that it is in the suburbs of large cities where the contemporary world comes into play, through the intersection of a rich multiplicity of natural, technological and cultural realities. Lawton absorbs all these situations pictorially through shapes and lit colors with which the painter, from a utopian and optimistic attitude, wants to represent the atmospheres of our artificial and pixelated world. Ultimately, his artwork is an answer to an existential question: “Okay, here we are. And now that?”
Michael Lawton is artist-in-residence at La Escocesa. He has recently exhibited his paintings at Nogueras Blanchard (Barcelona), 38b Projects (London), SWAB Art Fair (Barcelona), Window Space Gallery (London), Yellow (Varese), Five Years Gallery (London), Addaya Center d’Art Contemporani (Mallorca), Sobering Gallery (Paris), Le Cabinete Dentaire (Paris) and Passatge Studio (Barcelona.) He has published texts in The Journal of Contemporary Painting, The Happy Hypocrite, Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture and The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. As a writer, he has also recently collaborated with Lara Fluxa in her exhibition at ProjecteSD, with Daniel Moreno Rolden with his piece for La Capella 2020, and with Dilalica for his exhibition “Al Alcance” in 2022. In February 2023, he will exhibit new work at the Center d’Art Maristany.