Victoria Cantons

Present Tense

27 January – 28 April 2024


About the Artist

Victoria Cantons is a conceptual visual artist working in London, UK. Cantons’s artistic work is varied and is presented in multiple mediums including painting, neon, poetry, text, performance, photographs and videos, connecting and disconnecting psychological boundaries in the relationships we have with ourselves and others. 

Her work is autobiographical and confessional with political undercurrents. Being raised in a multicultural and multireligious home by European immigrant parents—her mother was from Spain and Catholic, and her father was French-Algerian, born to Russian Jewish and Basque parents—Cantons has memories of being different from the outset. Her ability to accept, declare and celebrate oneself is an ongoing journey for her, and has been littered with mental anguish, trauma, and scars. This influence can be seen in her works, with her use of text written into the surface of paintings and the language used to title works. 

Cantons’ paintings explore the intersection abstraction and figuration. She makes highly naturalistic figurative canvases often making use of photographic images, and also makes expressionistic canvases that incorporate abstractions, expressive drips, and gestural, calligraphic line-work into lyrical ruminations. Using a large image archive, her paintings reference her family members, self portraits, flowers, and objects, and she often inscribes quoted text from a wide variety of sources. Cantons sometimes incorporates ideas of femininity and gender in her work, drawing on her experiences as a gay and transgender woman. 

Cantons’s solo exhibitions include: ‘If Only, Time Were Ours To Spend, Again,’ Kunstverein Dresden, Germany (2023); ‘What Birds Plunge Through Is Not The Intimate Space,’ Guts Gallery, London, UK (2023); ‘Nothing is Absolute,’ Flowers Gallery, London, UK (2023); and ‘People Trust People Who Look Like Them,’ Flowers Gallery, London, UK (2022). Selected group exhibitions include: ‘The Cult of Beauty,’ Wellcome Collection, London, UK (2023); ‘Self Portrait Prize 2023,’ The Atkinson Museum, Southport, UK (2023); and ‘Holding Space,’ Hospital Rooms x Hauser & Wirth, London, UK (2023).

On View in Somerset

‘Present Tense’ is on view through 28 April 2024.