John Gathercole, Ria Firth

Transitive Beings


This July Untitled Factory Gallery invites you to “Transitive Beings”, an exhibition by John Gathercole and Ria Firth. Their joint exhibit offers a thought-provoking approach to depicting the human figure. In her works, Ria reinvents the traditional treatment of the figure and challenges the viewer’s unconscious biases, while John’s practice is less of a figure painting and more of a painting about paint with a figure or portrait as a conveyor in a gestural landscape. Their works collectively challenge the viewer to question what they believe to be their reality through the lens of figurative imagery and abstract narrative.

“Transitive Beings” exhibition brings together the works of Ria Firth and John Gathercole, who are both “Transitive Beings” as travellers in a foreign land, France. The exhibit examines the relationship between humans and their environments. Their works reveal an intimate portrait of the visual tensions of existing and the idea that humans survive because everything else exists around them. They are a direct engagement in the destruction of verbal and visual boundaries that hold humans in one category and their environment in another.

Selected works

About the artists

John Gathercole

John Gathercole is a British contemporary artist and founder of the Kreative Union of Neo-aesthetic Terrorists, (the K.U.N.Tists), an anti-aesthetic art punk collective. His paintings appropriate a range of influences from, philosophy, psychology, art history and popular culture, including, existentialism and Gestalt theory. He has exhibited with Tate Modern and Tate Britain as well as numerous London galleries. His solo work tackles both personal and deeper issues of aesthetics, cognition and media by exploring the void between beauty and reality with a blend of humour and horror, which feeds the contemporary human and social neurosis.

Ria Firth

Ria Firth is a young American artist from Virginia. Her oil paintings investigate classical approaches to portraiture and the figure with a contemporary twist. In her work she seeks to dissolve contradictions. Her paintings are at once relatable and “unreal”, teetering between figurative and abstract. Her work has been exhibited previously in France and USA.