Andy Parkinson blogs about the exhibition Contemporary British Abstraction at SE9 Container Gallery, Eltham, on view through April 11, 2015. The show, curated by artists Matthew Macaulay and Terry Greene, features work by: David Ainley, Ralph Anderson, Dominic Beattie, Chris Baker, Andrew Bick, Katrina Blannin, Claudia Boese, Julian Brown, EC, Ben Cove, Clem Crosby, Pen Dalton, Lisa Denyer, Andrew Graves, Terry Greene, Susan Gunn, Alexis Harding, Sue Kennington, Sarah R Key, Phoebe Mitchell, Matthew Macaulay, Ellie MacGarry, Katrin Mäurich, Sarah McNulty, Mali Morris, Andrew Parkinson, Aimee Parrott, Marion Piper, Clare Price, Geoffrey Rigden, Gwennan Thomas, Trevor Sutton, David Webb, Mary Webb and Gary Wragg.
Parkinson notes that "The show provides a glimpse of the current abstract scene and the range of abstract painters working in the United Kingdom at this point in time, some who are very well known artists and others who are almost unknown. There is variety also in terms of style and focus even within the arguably narrow confines of 'abstraction'."
Williams writes that "Scully has tried something a little different to his usual approach, letting his slabs of brushed colour 'float' over centres. The background support is aluminum, unyielding and clangingly harsh, a literalism maybe with its own references to 'imagined' sounds. The paint is applied in familiar ways, with heavy, oil-loaded brushmarks. Scully can be subtle in his use of colour, but has always worked tonally in the main, with repetitions, stripes, bars, blocks, almost always on the vertical/horizontal axes... Much in the same way as Scully does, Webb sets up an intent; in this case, a grid is used to imply a staircase – the rock formations of The Grand Staircase Escalante to be specific – an astonishing natural feature in the American mid west... The paintings are sensitive musings on colour, placement and relationship, taking the essential and re-imagining it through this abstracted, almost codified approach... Both Webb and Scully are working out of taste, neutralizing layouts to explore the emotional, maybe lyrical, impact of colour. Whilst each show affords enjoyment, the question is: can colour do more than suggest external factors – be they rhythm, sound, landscape, localised light?"
Slater writes that "pictorially certain regions in these paintings appear bound by some unseen adhesion; instantaneously aided by their counterparts. Many are often departmentalised by a cloisonné of black bands, which evoke remote images of intense shadows behind objects which are themselves suffused with white light. This is perhaps the greatest allure of Webb’s work – its capacity to evoke vivid thoughts and memories of the nameless surroundings in which we are inextricably framed and bound."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.