(fundamental) PAINTING is expanding.....
(standard) INTERVIEW is a straightforward, one-size-fits-all interview which aims to provide an insight into the work of contemporary painters about whom there is little already written.
as always... suggestions greatly appreciated.
There is no luck involved here.
Ian Homerston does something that is much more difficult than it looks. He makes spare paintings that are at once serious, engaging and absurd.
Part of the reason these paintings are so good is the efficiency and style of their methods. They manage to do a lot with seemingly very little. Each painting has a hook, an intriguing point or issue about Painting itself; and these hooks are genuinely compelling. They draw you in and point you towards something both primary and deep-seated. They present the qualities of the medium without attempting to over-explain. Moreover, they do so with a purposeful lack of clichéd artiness or design, something that gives them an irreverence that is particularly pleasing.
Formal elements interacting in an illusory world.
Hugh Delap’s canvasses often have the feeling of stage sets. They are places of possibility; freed from overt subject while at the same time retaining a breadth of opportunity.
Bold, vibrant forms occupy spaces of considerable depth, existing like players in a fun but indefinite game. The structures he builds up appear weighty without ever being entirely static. Walls and piles are common motifs, perhaps an allusion to materiality and mass, themes that would certainly be appropriate. His works are playful but they are not flippant and it is clear that his decision making is both considered and purposeful. When experienced in the flesh they have significant physical appeal. Their surfaces are a guide to his process; mapping each picture’s production and inviting the viewer to consider the course of his enquiry.
The work Simon Callery makes is determinedly positive.
As the above video clip shows Callery is both direct and sincere; important qualities he shares with his work. Bold, substantial structures that imply industry in both senses of the word: Callery’s paintings are the result of a clear vision executed to perfection. They are physical without being muscular; imposing but not overbearing and they demonstrate a dogged engagement with painting that is rare in its thoroughness.
It's good stuff.
Studied and undiluted.
This little maroon painting (above) made a great impression on me when I saw it at the Jerwood Space in 2009. It just looked so much better than anything else around it.
Aidan Doherty makes small, complex paintings that unfold as you look at them. They are rich, focused, and devoid of anything superfluous. They are paintings which concentrate on painting and its possibilities. Painting is defined by materials and process, these are its essence and so it follows that these are its strengths. Doherty’s works are unencumbered by distracting demands and this fact, combined with his skill and inventiveness, make them very complete and successful paintings.
Tomma Abts makes work with a purity of intent that is admirable.
The care and single-mindedness of her investigation give it strength. The possibility of extreme specificity is one of painting’s great abilities; one that is underused. The thinner you spread yourself the less likely you will do any one thing well. Abt’s precision and concentration make her paintings special, her works make no unnecessary claims and have few compromises. They look great and their modest scale and method of production are enormously pleasing.
Paul Doran’s paintings have an awkward allure. They seem at once rigorous and uncomfortable. Looking at them brings to mind early 20th century Paris, garrets, and a grubby struggle for authenticity. Their purposeful physicality is complemented by a palette, with its creams and pinks, which evokes Giotto. It is an interesting mix.
The space created in these works is also reminiscent of early renaissance painting. Framing elements have something of the stage set about them and slightly off-kilter forms sit at odd angles to one another.
It is clear that Doran’s pictures are concerned with both the act and history of painting.
Thomas Scheibitz seems to be effortlessly inventive.
When looking at the quantity and variety of the work he produces it is tempting to think that his arrangements are some how arbitrary, that he just churns them out for a market that likes big, bold colourful paintings. Their qualities, however, refute this. Schebitz’s paintings have something that is at the same time difficult to articulate and hard to dispute. They are paintings with a strong sense of visual ‘rightness’; paintings that consistently work.
I first came across Jamie Partridge’s work at the Jerwood Painting Prize in 2009. His paintings have a kind of scruffy slacker aesthetic that I really like. They are modest but there is a lot going on. A range of different layers come together to give a genuine feeling of time spent. It’s clear that their composition and execution is highly considered and yet they manage not to be fussy or laboured.
There is no formula for producing good abstract painting (the overabundance of woeful efforts filling commercial galleries nationwide is a testament to this) and so when something hits the mark it should be celebrated. Partridge’s paintings hit the mark. In addition to the qualities aforementioned there is a gratifying irreverence about them, they seem to send up the notion of mysticism without being overtly ironic. It is not about pastiche or parody but rather a demonstration of purposeful endeavour which doesn’t feel it needs to make a point about being earnest.