The Cliques constitutes a new series of paintings by Beth Stuart. The paintings are presented in pairs; not as diptychs, but as distinct personalities whose meeting elicits a conversational resonance. Two paintings that speak without arguing, that rub against each other - inciting friction and forgiveness. This work probes, more deeply, a continuing interest in the problems and possibilities that negotiation offers. The negotiations played out in the studio between figure and ground, between abstraction and representation, interior and exterior offer manifold parallels to the nuances of human dialogue. While negotiation risks both parties remaining unsatisfied, it also chances that differences may combine to open new avenues of understanding. It is the challenge of the former and the spirit of the latter that is the genesis of the works in the exhibition.