Parasites: Martin Eder's paintings of fluffy kittens and cute puppies alongside bare bottoms

All images courtesy of the gallery

Parasites is a solo exhibition by Berlin-based artist Martin Eder, featuring major new paintings alongside work spanning over a decade of the artist’s career.

Held at London's Newport Street Gallery from 26 September, the show will feature over forty of Eder’s paintings which examine beauty and ugliness, depicting kittens and wide-eyed puppies alongside uncompromising nudes and more sinister and surreal encounters.

"I look for beauty in filth. You find the most interesting colours at motorway service areas and in the bushes. A mixture of crisp packets, trainers, vomit and tufts of hair. These are colour combinations that artists seldom look at. Poetry lies hidden beneath the kitchen sink. The world is raging under my fingernails." Eder told Thomas Girst earlier this year.

Conducting an almost scientific enquiry into his medium, Eder has dedicated his career to exploring the illusory possibilities of painting and its meaning. In preparation for Parasites, Eder shut himself away with sketchbooks, drawings and paintings dating back to the beginning of his artistic career.

This period of reflection allowed him to trace numerous threads and shifts in his practice, leading him to complete a new series of works, some of which are based on ideas conceived years previously. These are shown alongside significant early works and examples from Eder’s recent series of male nudes, among others.

Eder explodes accepted ideas of what "fine art" should be, subverting received hierarchies of image and subject. An uncompromising, and equal, attention to detail is brought to undulations of flesh, the teased fur of a freshly groomed poodle and the shining edge of an axe.

Informed by diverse movements, including the Baroque and Surrealism, his paintings place the sentimental, squalid and the sublime side by side, recasting the tropes of classical history painting. In The Inescapable Unity of Love, 2010–2018, an oversized Cavalier King Charles spaniel, sporting a doleful expression, poses on an antique sofa, towering over a seemingly unaware guitar-playing woman, cast against a foreboding stormy sky. Such complex compositions hint at narratives but thwart easy readings.

Martin Eder: Parasites runs from 26 September until 13 January 2019 at London's Newport Street Gallery. Please note that this exhibition contains work of a sexually explicit nature.