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Lincoln Townley at La Biennale 2024: Unmasking Corporate Greed at Palazzo Bembo

Art Market News, Artists, Editorial, Exhibition

Stepping off the bustling streets of Venice into the historic Palazzo Bembo, I greeted the gallery sitters with a bright ‘Buongiorno!’ before taking the elevator to the second floor. My goal: to see four original canvases by the British artist Lincoln Townley.

The works on display were from Townley’s “Bankers Collection” series, celebrated for its commentary on modern corporate greed and political power. Pieces from this collection are housed in renowned institutions like the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Brisbane Powerhouse. When I heard that Townley’s originals would be exhibited during the prestigious La Biennale in Venice, I knew I had to see them.

In a darkened room on the third floor of Palazzo Bembo, which also hosts other exhibitions by the European Cultural Centre, I found four paintings: Bankers Energy, Bankers Luck, Bankers LA, and Bankers New York. These recent works, all painted within the last year, displayed Townley’s signature style: abstract figures in dark suits with distorted faces against vibrant backgrounds. His harsh, vertical brushstrokes create a sense of dynamic motion and energy.

Townley’s use of impasto, a technique of thick paint layers, gives his works a sculptural quality. This technique, developed by Venetian masters like Titian and Tintoretto and later used by artists like Van Gogh and Pollock, adds a rugged texture to the canvases. It mirrors the cracked, ravaged surfaces of the financiers Townley satirises, exposing their corrupted minds beneath.

Townley’s work evokes comparisons to Francis Bacon, a 20th-century artist known for his raw, unsettling figurative paintings. Bacon’s dynamic brushstrokes and distorted faces influenced many artists, including Townley. However, Townley’s work addresses contemporary issues, warning against unbridled materialism and capitalism. His critique of the financial world resonates deeply, especially as society grapples with the consequences of corporate greed.

For those interested in experiencing Townley’s art, his works will be at Palazzo Bembo until November 24, with 24 pieces displayed on a rotating basis. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see some of Townley’s most valuable and acclaimed works.

To enquire on acquisition and ownership opportunities of Lincoln Townley's artworks, click here



Published on June 26, 2024
Yu Ke Dong

Ke Dong is a seasoned art writer and current double major in English Literature and Art History at NTU. Having worked with esteemed art institutions in Singapore, Ke Dong now regularly contributes his keen research skills, adept writing abilities and passion for art to the Art Works discourse.


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