private view 5th September

sharon hall


Yellows Painting with Green


oil and acrylic on linen

Time-playsuggests both a play in time and a playing of time in some way.  This, of course has been a familiar strategy within post-minimalist practices of abstraction, with a fair share of that work highlighting material procedures and systematic strategies.  We might also think of the joyful anarchic critique of the oppressive nature of modernism found in Jacques Tati’s Playtime, where inhuman scale, transparency and repetition become the foil for chaos and disruption.  This exhibition brings together six contemporary painters who are alert to both aspects that are the inheritance of certain modernist practices: the ordered unfolding of time in order to reveal the materiality and structuring of the work, as well as a kind of disruptive element that necessarily accompanies, informs and undercuts any simple or raw ‘demonstration’ of a work’s components.  While, historically, much abstraction exploring materiality and process is bound up with the former (for instance in the didacticism of early Lewitt et al.), more recently, and perhaps freed from overly ideological or formalistic narratives, works which explore repetition, structure, constructed elements, regulated gesture etc., can look towards the potential of a fuller experience within the traditional bounded canvas or panel. Each of the works presented here engage the viewer in a more considered and concentrated field of activity, proposing a more intimate address, one where intensity and expression are allowed to co-exist with conceptual strategy.


There is a use of systematic process in the repeated and imprecise bands of carbon black on the raw cotton duck of David Rhodes’ paintings. But here the idea of the imperfect- the blip or the error works against any idea of a ‘closed’ or immediately consumable image. The masking tape’s s out of control ‘bleeds’ in which the accidental become a disruption and makes for a more engaged involvement in the reading of the painting.


Sharon Hall’s use a simple set of divisions traceable as a method of construction (the parts or moves being described in the titles too) but these painting are not concerned with any overt didacticism. Colour, transparency and light make for associative, readings, deliberately confounding the painting’s literalness.


 Gina Metcalf’s strategy involves her ‘ergonomic’ presence in the paintings, recording the controlled, regulated ‘sweeping’ of household brooms across the span of the canvases. But their matter of fact production belies the luminous, optical shimmer that like Hall’s works, suggests light and movement across their surfaces.


Laurence Noga’s collaged constructions use found materials and discarded offcuts that make up the support, its structure and surface. The residual histories and narratives in the pasted papers, exploit a tension between construction and collage and introduce an idea of detail not often encountered in constructed painting.


In the paintings of Katie Pratt, the thrown accidental splashes and nuggets of paint prompt an elaboration of the logic of the physical surface and the systematic ‘mapping’ of the paint’s contours might suggest ‘almost’ forms which have been recognized within the topology of surface events.


Robert Holyhead’s controlled and arrested gestures also explore a surface logic through the actions of addition and erasure. The paintings are characterized by a controlled restraint which foregrounds painterly nuance. The finished image is revealed by the ‘lifting out’ of paint exposing the immaculately prepared grounds (which are given as much attention in the construction as the paintings themselves).


All of the artists included here are concerned with abstraction in such a way that it can mark time, and yet present something that goes beyond the material strategies that are set in motion to define the parameters for each work. Here, singularity replaces any broadly deterministic formal programme, and while each embrace procedural abstraction in some way, they allow a more intimate dialogue with the viewer, bringing attention to the practice of painting as a compression of time that demands unlocking.  A conundrum that can only be resolved by the ‘play’ of each painting, whereby each, in their own way, provide very different solutions.


EXHIBITION OPEN from 5 - 28th September 2019

View Press release

 Director : Rebecca Fairman    |   Tel: 07713 189249    |   |   © arthouse1 2019

Gallery opening hours - Thursday - Sunday 3pm - 7pm or by appointment