Last of the raking light

Ross Chisholm - Last of the raking light @ Eigen + Art Lab

Ross Chisholm's new series of large-scale paintings are­ (at least in the essential moment of this contemporary artist standing in front of his canvases) intuitive, gestural compositions. Yet they might also be thought to capture the muddied turpentine of that split second in the eighteenth century. A portrait of paint's breakdown; a portrait of a painting breaking down. Chisholm summons the spectre of Reynolds, studying the earlier artist's palette, lifting Reynolds's notoriously unstable paint mixes (which have been prone to serious colour deterioration and surface cracking, infamous in conservation circles) and recreating each painting himself both as exact figurative copies and, through this deft research ­– this inhabitation of Reynolds – as abstract works. Just as the close inspection of a painter's water glass might give clues to the work being produced by that artist, the attentive viewer to Chisholm's new work can spot the black of Mary Hickey's coat in a series of three thick strokes across the right side corner of one canvas; the auburn brown of Seymour Damer's hair is discerned in a wash of another. In a third, distinguishable in the muddied centre of a dense forest of paint is the light creamy complexion of Hickey's skin; there to the top of the frame is the rosy red of Seymour Damer's cheeks. A small area of green in the background of the latter's portrait has come to dominate the final work.

Wed, 29 Apr, 17.00h
29 Apr 201530 May 2015

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