RESEARCH: PART 5 : project 3 – A Finer Focus

RESEARCH: Part 5: project 3: a finer focus

Gwen Hardie

Born and educated in Scotland

-focuses on tiny parts of flesh and paints them wet on wet in no more than a day. For her they are ways of looking at mortality, a precarious and fragile existence. She doesn’t seek to dramatise the image but rather to celebrate the wonder of being and looking at the body.

Technique – subtlety of texture and blending of colour. Hardie uses the oil paint as a kind of membrane or a film – ‘skin of paint’. “Cool, warm, transparent and opaque hues are blended together quickly to create an illusion of depth…and can make the surface of the body resemble landscape…” website.

Gwen Hardie

Richard Wright

Born London, 1960, artist, musician. Wright decorates architectural spaces with intricately designed patterns in paint and gold leaf. His work is often short-lived, only kept for the length of an exhibition and then are painted over.

Grayson Perry

Doodles…Perry rediscovered drawing for fun with the birth of his daughter Flo. They began drawing together and he says he learnt to play on paper again. Carries sketchbooks all the time – “a place where I can discuss ideas with myself, a place I work through and refine an idea for a good while before I will let it run around the studio and then into the world.” (‘Sketchbooks’ by Grayson Perry)

Julie Mehretu

Mehretu was born in Addis Ababa in 1970 and lives and works in New York.

Makes large-scale gestural paintings – built up through layers of acrylic paint on canvas with mark-making using pencil, pen, ink and thick streams of paint. Uses abstracted images of cities, histories, wars and geographies with energetic mark making. She describes her canvases as ‘story maps of no location’.

“Her paintings present a tornado of visual incident where gridded cities become fluid and flattened, like many layers of urban graffiti… (White Cube.com)

Listening to her talk to the White Cube Gallery, I was struck by this continual struggle for newness…new language…new mark making. In her later works she has let go of the architectural underpinning.

Conversation with Tim Marlow at the White Cube about her collaboration with David Adjaye for the exhibition.

A most interesting discussion focusing on the artist and the space exhibiting the paintings. I was particularly interested in the part of the discussion about time based experience for the viewer. The immense detail in Mehretu’s large paintings mean that the element of time is embedded in the work. The challenge was how to create stillness in an exhibition for the viewer. There is the need to be able to pause and for the re-orientation of the body. The durational aspect to appreciate both the intimacy and grandeur.

The conversation also picked up on the sense of movement in the way you think about the images and this resonated with the work I’d been doing on time and movement of thought.

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu

 

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About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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