Kiss Me Deadly

19 Aug - 29 Sep, 2013
The Hanging Room
The Royal Automobile Club
89 Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5HS

Group Exhibition:

Jessica Holmes
Liane Lang
Veronica Smirnoff
Sinta Tantra

By appointment only: lianelang(at)

The film opens on a dark Californian highway. A young woman, barefoot, clad only in an ill-fitting raincoat, scampers along the asphalt. Drivers ignore her as she tries to flag them down. Desperate, she runs in front of a handsome roadster…

“Get me to that bus stop and forget you ever saw me. If we don't make it to the bus stop... If we don't, remember me.”

Kiss Me Deadly, dir. Robert Aldrich, 1955

Rooted in a queasy mixture of pulp novels and German expressionist cinematography, film noir was the moment when Hollywood raised the thriller from joyful trash to fine art. The gumshoe detective and the femme fatale played their parts, but above all these were films about light and darkness: neon reflected in rain-slicked pavements; cigarette smoke caught in a sodium glare; impenetrable mysteries and blinding revelations.

In Kiss Me Deadly, four artists who studied together at the Royal Academy Schools each build on a theme from film noir. Sinta Tantra walks that tightrope between pop and formalism; Liane Lang’s overripe photography alludes to a civilisation corrupted; Jessica Holmes paints a post-human abstraction of the urban; and Veronica Smirnoff considers a world filled with mysterious signs and symbols.

Jessica Holmes was born in England in 1980 and studied at Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She has exhibited in London, Paris and Berlin and was shortlisted for the Clifford Chance Postgraduate Printmaking Award in 2006. Recent shows include: Up My Street, with Jake and Dinos Chapman and Grayson Perry; London Art Fair Projects Space; and Throwing Perfume on Violets in the Blyth Gallery at Imperial College, London.

Liane Lang is based in London. Born in Germany, she studied at NCAD in Dublin, Goldsmiths College and the Royal Academy Schools. Recent projects included residencies in Hungary and Latvia, where she used photography and animation to stage interventions with Socialist monuments. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad. Her work is held in a number of notable collections.

Veronica Smirnoff is a British artist of Russian origin, (born Moscow, Russia, 1979). She studied at the Slade School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She had her first solo show with Galleria Riccardo Crespi in Milan (2008). Smirnoff has exhibited in Moscow, Paris, Berlin, New York and London. She was selected for the John Moores Painting Prize UK, by Norman Rosenthal and Gary Hume (2010).

Sinta Tantra, a British artist of Balinese descent, was born in New York in 1979. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Academy Schools. Tantra is well regarded for her site-specific murals and installations – many in the public realm. These include works for Canterbury Christ Church University, Transport for London’s Art on the Underground programme Platform for Art, Create KX London, the London Borough of Camden, the Southbank Centre, Canary Wharf Group, Liverpool Biennial and The Royal Society of British Sculptors.