Thanks to Evon for putting me onto this remarkable new documentary on Bacon.
Following hot on the heels of her solo at State of the Art last year, the studio invites you to see the latest paintings in Tanya Sternberg’s Okavango Delta/Pathways series!
It is great to see Mandy, who painted with us for years, launch her second solo at the Cape Gallery this coming weekend. I hope we’ll all come together in support and to see her new body of work!
… something about the person.
There’s something about the person, well known or briefly encountered, it immediately calls out to be captured.
In the selfie age, the face has become a kind of mask, an expression held for the camera presenting the fantasy that individual wants to project into the future; it’s a caricature that tells us only a small part of a person’s being. Photographs of others are a blend of the fantasies of the photographer and the subject, leaving us with little to decide where the former ends and the latter begins. What is lost in both cases is the ‘inter-face’, the face as a mediator between one individual’s thoughts and experiences and those of others they encounter in the world.
The paintings are not portraits in the traditional sense. Rather than trying (and failing) to capture the appearance, age and expression of the sitter in all his or her complexity, they allow the face to be the abyss it is. They are almost exclusively the product of a negotiation between painter and subject but they evade the problems of deferring to knowledge of the individual represented for the coordinates of interpretation, or onto a definition of aesthetic beauty in choice of subject or handling of the medium of oil painting. The material process is assertive yet exploratory, in which coincidence, chance and slippage are balanced by skill, nuance and strategy.
The fact of an encounter with another person is presenced, without attempting to steal from the individual represented. Rather the paintings leave us in each case with an endlessly interpretable subject, a fantasy of their relation to the artist and a crowd of questions about the intersection of many worlds that brought them into contact, evinced in the body of work as a whole.
Amid all the summer group shows, William Kentridge’s Solo at the Goodman Gallery really stands. The exhibition closes on the 13th but it is well worth the visit!
Thanks to Paul for the link to this excellent article on making… well worth a read.
Thanks to Colin for discovering this great documentary on Pierre Bonnard.
Thanks to all those that braved the drawing board this weekend, the day yielded some wonderful (& hard-won) drawings. Please visit our studio Facebook page to see a small gallery of images from the day.
Paul Whelan, points of contact, 2017
Tanya Sternberg’s exciting new body of work is going on show at State of the Art next week. It will be wonderful to see all the works together and I hope we’ll all come together to support her!