Curated by Katherine Lubar and Infinity Bunce
The title is taken from the literary masterpiece by Oscar Wilde. This novel's central theme is that of the character Dorian and a painting of him that seems to take on a life of its own.
The painting takes on the physical aspects of Dorians journey through life, growing old and showing the ravages of Dorian's own cruel actions, whereas Dorian himself stays looking young and innocent. The novel highlights and explores the process of painting and we learn to understand the concept of the story that lies beneath it.
This exhibition consists of 10 contemporary painters who are involved particularly in the process of painting. The title bears reference to Wilde's writing that painting can have an organic form of its own and can be taken as a 'thing in itself' within the methods and processes in which it is created. This is evident in the work of Piers Secunda and Shane Bradford. Where the actual paint itself almost paints itself. The paint draws its own breath and its journey creates its own destiny. Paint flows off Shane's books as if the material is speaking out to us in a visual dialogue of its own being. A space in itself where it creates its own world. A world within a world. A breath of independence and separateness ' the separateness that Dorian's painting obtained as it grew independent from its subject.
This show is not a show that is concerned with being figurative, abstract or conceptual. This exhibition is about the methods of painting itself and the language in which the painter expresses these processes and methods There is a strong element of the artist challenging materials and concepts in order to create a painting such as in Ben Coves work supported on casters or the process work of Infinity Bunce, Katherine Lubar and Nick Dawes who are all using modern materials such as household paint and MDF to create new aesthetic considerations in order to manifest the expressive and conceptual intent of the practitioner. Nick Dawes' gloss drips out and over his carefully painted graphic images of street signs whereas Infinity Bunces paintings are carefully manipulated layers of gloss paint battling with the matted area of eggshell underneath. Katherine Lubar uses perspective and colour to play with ideas of flatness and depth and both she and Nick Dawes deny their surfaces in such a way that often they look like what they are not.
Andy Harper and John Stark's technical ability push boundaries within the entire field of painting. Andy Harpers carefully layered microcosmic world questions ones ability to look at detail as when looking at his work, the eye has to weave around many layered detailed strokes of paint. Harper's painting empowers you and almost orders you to stop and slow down. John Stark's ghostly images painted on aluminium also give a sense of an eerie independence of otherness. James Roper's post-Pop Lichtenstein-like spiralling forms of colour roll across and out of the picture plane hitting the viewer with undulating schemes of colour and form. Simon Naish equally hits us with a contemporary colour palette; however he formulates his sensibility of colour into a hybrid of pop art narrative figure painting, exploring the intersection between traditional painting techniques and contemporary
forms of representation. Every point in space has a different intensity. The means of representing this intensity in painting is therefore the shade, nuance, i.e., the span between white and black with all visible shades of gray ' painting is used as a mode of representing this difference in intensity, documenting and expressing all the varied intents and subjects that are as numerous as there are practitioners.
This show is the first in a series of exhibitions curated by Katherine Lubar and Infinity Bunce.