Catto Gallery on Heath Street, Hampstead, has an ever changing array of work by phenomenal artists of worldwide distinction. Discover the three exhibitions that are on display until October 20...

Bogdan Molea

How can the artist address the monumental? The romantics took themselves off to mountain ranges and saw God in billion year old rock formations. The abstract expressionists - Rothko, notably - sought transcendence in huge slabs of floating colour.

What can the contemporary artist do? Bogdan Molea creates monumental paintings whose subject matter is paper. In so doing he reflects the anxiety of the ephemeral man-made world. He says the contrast between the “massiveness” of the idea and the fragility of the paper “addresses the entropic tendencies of the modern world”.

His intention, he says, is to “remind us of some of the highest moments of post-Roman art while hinting at contemporary imagery - photography, 3D renderings and film”.

Brett Humphries

What is the purpose of the still-life artist in the age of the iPhone? In virtually everyone’s pocket is a camera capable of pin-sharp HD photography, each with editing software that can overlay dozens of atmospheric filters. You’d think that the smartphone would have killed still-life painting by now, but Brett’s work shimmers in a way that no photograph could ever do and while we shoot away aimlessly, he composes his work meticulously.

Brett says: “I aim to make the brushstrokes become part of the objects themselves. This helps to give the trompe l'oeil effect and makes you feel that you can pick objects straight out of the painting”.

Ali Esmaeilipour

Vincent Van Gogh told Ali Esmaeilipour to keep painting, in a dream, of course. The artist had discovered his love of painting after seeing a Vincent self-portrait in a book years before. “I hungered to learn how to paint like that,” he recalls.

Ali’s current paintings deal in objects, which he paints with impeccable technique. As a result, the little tableaus of lace, fruit, animals, fabrics and birds can be disarmingly beautiful. But look more carefully and there is often a sense of disquiet in these works. Ali’s paintings often feature incongruous or inscrutable images. A previous collection featured a painting of a telephone without a cord, for example.

Perhaps this reflects Ali’s own sense of displacement - the Iranian living in Singapore, and exhibiting all over the world. He says: “Each of us is trying to find a balance between our roots and our aspirations. The juggling act becomes more precarious in our era of globalisation where our future often lies far from home.”

Catto Gallery, 100 Heath Street, Hampstead, NW3 1DP, all exhibits listed run until October 20. Details: 020 7435 6660