Art: see Upright Animal and hear artist Selma Parlour talk about her first major London exhibition

Pi Artworks London’s latest exhibition showcases new work by emerging talent Selma Parlour. Called Upright Animal and curated by Sacha Craddock, it is the Johannesburg-born artist’s first major solo exhibition in Britain and features a series of large ‘human-size’ paintings that imitate and challenge the austerity of the white cube gallery space.

UK-educated, Parlour’s work possesses multiple paradoxes; the transparent colour in concert with the white ground beneath, creates the illusion that the paintings are in fact screens, and the work is otherworldly, imbued with the artist’s illusory and tactile process.

Parlour opts for shaded bands to form architectural shapes where impenetrable spaces, doors and walls are able to slide like minimal stage sets. Through the gossamer-like application of the oil, so intrinsic to her practice, Parlour enables colour to appear as a veil rather than a skin, subtly revealing each decision she makes.

Soft fields of colour are punctuated by shaded bands with exacting graphic finesse. The paintings carry sharp diagrammatic shapes and moments that isolate and juxtapose certain hues in order to accentuate the sensation that they are dyed or printed.

Curator Sacha Craddock said, “Selma Parlour’s immaculate paintings carry a level of composure, comprehension and confusion within them; logic and association collide, clash and then walk side by side.”

Next month, Turkish-owned Pi Arworks London will be hosting an evening conversation with the artist and curator. The event takes place at 7pm on Thursday 1 February at the gallery. Contact the venue to register your place for this interesting Q&A.

About Selma Parlour

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Selma relocated to London where she completed her PhD in Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2014. In 2017, she received the Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist at the Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Installation views of Upright Animal by Selma Parlour at Pi Artworks 05/01/2018 – 10/02/2018


Installation views of Upright Animal by Selma Parlour at Pi Artworks 05/01/2018 – 10/02/2018


She has held exhibitions around the world, including Parlour Games (solo), Marcelle Joseph Projects, House of St Barnabas, London (2016); Paradoxes of the Flattened-Out Cavity (solo), Dio Horia, Mykonos (2015); Selma Parlour (solo), MOT International Projects, London (2012); Selma Parlour and Yelena Popova, Horton Gallery, New York (2012); and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA, London (2011).

Exhibition Details

Title: Upright Animal by Selma Parlour

Exhibition Dates: exhibition opened Friday 5 January and runs until Saturday 10 February 2018

Q&A Details: Thursday 1 February at 7pm at Pi Artworks

Opening Times: Monday – Friday, 10am – 6pm; Saturday: 11am – 6pm. Closed Sunday

Venue: Pi Artworks, 55 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8EG

Entry: free of charge

More Info: or 0207 637 8403 or email