All Icons Are False: Alexander James at D Contemporary in Association with Female Cancer Charity

The Gynaecological Cancer Fund and D Contemporary Gallery have announced a new exhibition from artist Alexander James. The artist will be presenting previous unseen works from his series Vanitas, Rosae and Dissolved Sadness the critically acclaimed Moscow exhibition alongside new abstract floral works titled All Icons Are False.

James is a unique artist who for three decades has explored the liquid mechanics of water as a primary medium, without the use of any post production. ‘In this new body of work’, he says, ‘I present a Gothic homage to the stained glass window from the 21st century. The stained glass windows have had their religious totems removed and replaced with organic abstractions as the icon of these religious mantles. Nature and science alone command such idolism, all other icons are false.’

All Icons are False are images of flowers in water, but they look more like abstract stained-glass windows. To make them, James took 850 plate film photographs of 50 petal-heavy arrangements of flowers densely combined underwater, then variously layered these ‘core plates’ on a scanner – up to four at a time – using both positive and negative images. The rhythms which result are complicated, as not only are several plates scanned, but both the natural forms of the flowers and the wave effects of the water make their separate contributions. The flowers are all old varieties, returning us to how they looked at the time when their biblical symbolism was most vivid.


10% of all sales made will go to the GCF (, enabling vital research at The Royal Marsden into improved diagnosis and treatment of the five gynaecological cancers (#silentnomore). Alexander is also donating one of his works from the exhibition to the Fund.


19th – 30th May 2017
Monday – Saturday 11am – 6pm

D Contemporary Gallery | 23 Grafton Street | Mayfair | London | W1S 4EY

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