UNION Gallery is pleased to present Alfie Caine’s What Lies Beyond, curated by William Gustafsson. What Lies Beyond brings to the fore the state of liminality explored in Caine’s latest body of work. Doors left temptingly ajar and far-off houses half obscured by haze entice the viewer into Caine’s worlds, where they are encouraged equally yet contrastingly to explore his meticulously detailed interior spaces while dreaming up what views and places exist in the landscapes beyond the canvas. The artist revels in these contrasts that lie deceptively beneath the works’ calm surfaces, but it is by balancing the inner oppositions that creates their atmosphere of unstilted serenity: meditative yet anticipatory.
Caine creates visual and stylistic contrasts; beyond the linear confides of his buildings lie fantastical softedged and untamed nature. Anachronistically, the use of architecture to divide composition draws on Caine’s love of Early Renaissance painting while the focus on entrances and interior scenes echoes works of the Dutch Golden Age. The art historical references are at odds with the decidedly contemporary arbitrary colours and non-fine art paints used to describe them. The narrative within the scenes is also incongruous; the wind rustles through leaves yet the surface of the river remains perfectly unbroken in Have You Seen the River? It’s Bright Yellow!, while in a number of works lights are left on, curtains askew, and smoke can be seen unfurling from chimneys, all hinting at inhabitants that are rarely to be seen in the works.