Skip to main content

Still (Studio 24)

Richard Baker, Mark Dunn, Tom Palin, Luke Steele, Adam Stone

To paint is to immobilise time. The stillness of the object of painting serves to disguise the temporal nature of the processes by which a painting is constructed. Yet a painting’s surface is built incrementally, and in its stillness offers clues to what it has been—perhaps the only clues to what, in essence, it is.

The five painters in this exhibition, disparate though their works might appear to be in terms of scale, subject matter, approach, handling, design and intention, all share a common concern with the fundamental constituents of the painted object: surface, material, vehicle, support, and time.

 is therefore a dialogue about foundations and concealment, where painting is presented as perhaps the most deceptive of time-based media.

 Tom Palin, 2014


Popular posts from this blog

Pictures, Truths and Methods: From Function to Form in Abstract Painting

This paper takes Patrick Heron’s assertion as to the abstract nature of painting as a starting point for a phenomenological investigation into the ways in which abstractworks comport themselves. How is it that abstract paintings become meaningful, and along which communicative channels might meaning flow? Perhaps in opposition to Picasso’s denial of the possibility of abstract art, and affirmation of the vitality of figurative painting (his restatement of, “the power of the object”), Heron presented an alternative idea; declaring all paintings to be, in effect, of the abstract. In positing an abstract primacy to one’s experience of the world inpainting – Heron’s proposition, I will argue, opens more doors than it closes. In support of his hypothesis, Heron drew together the terms spacecolour and form – the bedrock of countless claims as to abstraction’s truth – and invoked an, “abstract reality” that painting (including that which is usually taken to be figurative painting) is seen,…

Involvement, Inbetweenness and Abstract Painting

To come to an awareness of painting in the period after abstraction – by which I mean after the emergence and development of abstract painting – is to contend, to a greater or lesser degree, with the idea, language and look of a large assortment of painted objects from the past hundred or so years; dissimilar in form and content. The figurative painter Paul Winstanley goes further, stating that: “It is […] impossible to make paintings of any sort now without an internalised vocabulary of twentieth-century abstraction (2018: 13)”. For him, this is especially apparent in the manner of painting’s particular pictorial arrangements – in the ordering of space – but also in a call to its own condition as object (in respect of its surface/image or object/edge). Together, to Winstanley, these elements serve to: “heighten the metaphysical nature of the painting surface as a reflection of the depicted surfaces and space” (2018: 13). 
Notwithstanding, it is permissible to consider levels of involv…

Auto-biographical Fragment

I was born in Birkenhead; a shipbuilding town in the North West of England on the banks of the river Mersey, close to the stark, melancholic landscapes of North Wales. I trained as a painter and art historian in Liverpool and Manchester, and now live in Leeds. In 2018 I completed a practice-led PhD in Painting at the Royal College of Art, re-considering medium specificity within a contemporary frame. This involved reflecting on the nature of pictures, temporality and surface in respect of both the object and the activity of painting.
Though as a boy I enjoyed drawing, I enjoyed filling-in more. I was exposed to art early, through library books and visits to local galleries. Victorian paintings and reproductions of works by Brueghel, Bosch, Constable, Turner and Monet affected me a great deal, as did works by the Dutch still life painters and the flowers of Fantin Latour. As a teenager I immersed myself in the paintings of Friedrich, Van Gogh, Picasso, Utrillo, De Stael and Bacon, the f…