Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by artist Pamela Golden, marking her second solo show with the gallery.

Charlie Don’t Surf explores how associations between found images adapt and alter over time. In a departure from the miniature paintings in oil and encaustic for which Golden is best known, large-scale sumi watercolour and ink works reimagine found photographs and illustrations to embody an interrelation between moments in recent history.

The exhibition takes its title from a line in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, which in turn became a song by the Clash. Golden’s new paintings use photographs of American soldiers surfing during the Vietnam War as a visual reference, juxtaposed with found illustrations from retro Science Fiction. Influenced by Sontag’s 1965 essay ‘The Imagination of Disaster’, Golden explores cultural anxieties in relation to visual culture; by painting the ‘unthinkable’ – be it conflict, apocalypse or a long lost or imagined time-period – the artist exposes universal concerns of the human psyche.

Depictions of surfing, colonial exploration and the prehistoric provide visual references to the relationships between pleasure and ideology and man versus nature. In From the land of the new rising sun and Said, you’re gonna find the new world is smoulderin’, thrill-seeking surfers appear jarringly oblivious of a looming Jurassic landscape. Procession of the equinoxes and Analogous sequence in different parts depict riders surfing through apocalyptic hazes of reds and yellows, the figures barely visible within a seemingly uninhabitable climate. In Waiting for the axe to fall we perceive a faintly discernible anti-hero, sheltering below the blurred figure of an imposing dinosaur.

Utilising imagery from the 1920s through to the late 1970s, Golden’s cross-temporal watercolours are influenced greatly by the early film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World (1925), and its intricately hand-painted sets Through her own time-travelling overview of visual culture, Golden questions how we posit value to an image, and what we inherit through popular culture. Her recent research into the traditions of botanical painting, for example, led her to apply this technique to explore the exaggerated use of plant imagery in dystopian science fiction from the 1950s.

The re-imagination of her source materials – film stills, photographs and illustrations – allow Golden to manipulate the viewer’s experience, uncovering hidden truths and revealing new narratives through her works.

Born in Chicago in 1959, Golden has lived and worked in the UK since 1989.

Golden has exhibited extensively for over 20 years throughout Europe and America, with solo shows including Good Morning Mister Williams, Marlborough Contemporary, London (2014); Auction Paintings, World Legend, Lisbon (2013); Love and Hysteria, Fondacion Elektra, Paris (2007-2008) and Nothing Personal, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (2004). She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago between 1974-78, returning to complete an MFA in 1984, and recently received a Certificate of Botanical Art at The English Gardening School.