Tim Stoner: Groupthink

11 September - 5 October 2013

These recent works reflect how the human unit and group bonding coexist within forms of folk culture, vernacular media and the imagination.


The psychological phenomenon of Groupthink occurs when the desire for harmony or conformity influences members of a group; this desire can result in problematic outcomes for the mass as individualistic creativity is suppressed. Consequently distorted decisions are made due to lack of perspective, which can be induced by the pressure of panic or just mere complacency. George Orwell described a world of Groupthink in his novel 1984, where non-subversion is described as an act of complicity, generating a force that drives humanity into the arms of totalitarianism. Stoner's theme is the way that collectives have operated throughout the ages. His focus is the essence of the action being portrayed; and ultimately to questioning of their rules, meanings and functions. There is a repeated form to the human composition and the work shows this balance, but there is a compositional asymmetry to the groups that implies the figures are not always in complete sync, and that the choreography could collapse. These drawings and paintings address the rhythm of figurative congregations by finding coercion and tension within the picture.


The dynamics of how these relationships shift and progress or whether dysfunction encroaches are determined by the line of brush or charcoal, by the slippage and gesture of the hand: an irony considering the highly individualistic pursuit of a painter depicting the masses.


Tim Stoner (Born, 1970) lives and works in London and Andalucia. He studied at Norwich School of Art (1989-92), The Royal College of Art (1992-94) and The Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1997-98). He has shown at Alison Jacques Gallery, London (2007), The Approach, London (2000 & 2002), The Stedilijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2002) and has also been included in group shows at the ICA, London (Beck's Futures 1st Prize Winner in 2001), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003), Tounta Art Centre, Athens (2004), Victoria Miro Gallery, London (2003), Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2003), Berliner Guggenheim (2005), and Kunst Im Tunnel, Frankfurter Kunsthalle (2011).