Terry Greene, An ever-expanding, loving, joyful, glorious and harmonious universe, acrylic on canvas, 2012 (courtesy of PS Mirabel)
Marielle Hehir reviews the exhibition Treatment at PS Mirabel, on view through March 9, 2013. The show features paintings by Laura Jane Blake, Neill Clements, Terry Greene, Mark Kennard, Matthew Macaulay, and Richard Ward.
Hehir writes that "Treatment presents us a selection of current trends in abstract painting, with six contemporary UK based painters. The exhibition has been intelligently curated by Lisa Denyer, selecting artists whose approaches to the exploration of abstraction differ yet form a chorus of voices for our discovery. The press release states 'The title refers to both the physical act of paint application, therapy in the creation of work, and psychologically, making sense of the world from the maker’s point of view.' ... The mood of ‘Treatment’ is one of enthusiasm for contemporary abstraction. There are scatterings of references to the journey abstraction has taken so far; the Hodgkin frame in Greene’s painting, Clements’ homage to Carl Andre, comparison to Robert Holyhead’s experimenting with negative space. Clements and Ward abstract the process of painting itself and the exhibition shows us a future for the genre. "
Sturgis comments that the show is "a personal selection – one built on my concerns – but also with generosity at its core. The illusion of things in space, as you put it – is something that I am less interested in finding in recent work. Or rather I am more interested in other work – work that confronts the legacy of minimalist and modernist painting and its fission with the contemporary world that surrounds us. For me that is a crucial issue – or it is at the moment."
Andy Parkinson reviews the exhibition At the Point of Gesture at the Lion and Lamb Gallery, on view through March 23, 2013. The exhibition features the work of five painters, Clem Crosby, Gabriel Hartley, Andrea Medjesi-Jones, David Ryan, and Alaena Turner, "each," Parkinson writes "in their different ways exploring the potential of gesture, materiality and improvisation."
Musing on the various implied meanings suggested by the exhibition title, he continues, noting that "a point could almost be the opposite of a gesture, I’m thinking of pointillism where all those dots of colour negate the action of the sweeping brush stroke, yet once the dots are aggregated gestures of a sort do start to emerge. In physiological communication, to point is to gesture, and now I have in mind Grunwald’s amazing Isenhheim altarpiece where John the Baptist points at the crucified Jesus. Here the gesture refers to another, and I wonder if that might also be the case with gesture in abstract (non referential) painting, the minimum reference being to the act of painting itself..."
Greene comments: "I’m engaged with drawing attention to the fact of the paint (or tape) on the loose plane of the canvas. Often tape is employed as little objects on the canvas while at the same time they are colour and light illuminating the ground. I’m particularly interested in exploring that moment between when the background and foreground don’t really meld or talk to one another and that split second that a real dialogue begins."
Parkinson writes: "On viewing these abstract paintings at Plane Space, I could easily begin to speculate on the status of abstract painting in contemporary art, for some already consigned to the crypt, painting being dead and abstract painting especially so, quite possibly in danger of becoming a mere footnote in its ancient history. Here in this crypt however, it seems very much alive, demonstrating its power to evoke and reveal, not so much the visual world outside it as the very coding of the visual."
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.