Skip to main content

AA Press Release

Sebastian Craig

Stephen Carter’s images are formed through the competing actions of addition and subtraction. While his works depict actual sites and structures, they also maintain an indirect grip on the physical world, viewing reality through the interpretive lens of a plan, a model or a map. Following Carter’s paintings from the early 2000s, which trace the organisation of newspaper pages or the media’s use of particular words in a single day, his new works bear witness to the ebb and flow of the city and document its evolving manifestations. While the life of Carter’s current visual subject matter – construction, demolition, reconfiguration and reinvention of urban sites – outlasts the fleeting imagery of our media channels, it presents the same daily process of overwriting one version of modernity with another. Here, titles describe specific vantage points in London and indicate the direction of view; however, Carter’s approach to representation sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to street photography. The experience of urban living in the era of globalisation as described in these paintings utilises remnants of its own immediate past to locate intimations of the near future.