Duncan Pickstock: ‘Are we there yet?’

26 Mar 2015 – 26 Apr 2015

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Acme Project Space

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: D3 & 309
  • Underground: Bethnal Green
  • Train: Cambridge Heath
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Duncan Pickstock, the inaugural recipient of the Rita Harris Studio Award, presents a solo exhibition of paintings made during his year on the award.


Pickstock’s large-scale paintings are an attempt to move on, to move forward and closer to a state of resolve, towards a harmonious conclusion, that is always the goal but one that he accepts is unachievable. Painting is then a journey for Pickstock, a journey that the artist sets out on knowing that the destination, this arrival at a state of resolution, will never be reached.

Despite this, and along the way, the paintings through their juxtapositioning of form, construction and layers of colour and chiaroscuro, maintain a sense of place or shelter that ultimately reassures the viewer that no matter how aspirational the journey might be, the desire to survive is the greater force in answering the visual and vital questions each painting poses.

Pickstock’s investigation often encompasses a preoccupation with layers of paint and how the application and the removal of paint, to and from the canvas, can alter the viewer’s perception of depth, distance and dimension. Through these formal tools Pickstock explores the tension that exists between something that is neither representational nor abstract; that refers to elements of the world around us but refuses to illustrate them.

Accompanying full colour catalogue, with essay written by Paul O' Kane (Artist, Writer & Lecturer) will be available. Designed, printed and supported by Tom Clark and Printhouse Corporation.

Duncan Pickstock is the first recipient of the Rita Harris Studio Award. The award commemorates the life and work of Rita Harris who died in 2013. Rita was an artist and a master of T’ai Chi, which she taught for over 20 years. She was married to Jonathan Harvey, Acme’s Chief Executive and co-founder. She worked with Jonathan at The Acme Gallery (1976-1981) in Covent Garden.

The biennial award, which alternates with the Jessica Wilkes Studio Award, is supported by Jonathan, Acme, friends and family. It provides an artist with a free studio to enable them to devote more of their time to their studio practice. Worth £10,000, the award is made to an artist selected from applications from current Acme studio holders.

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Duncan Pickstock


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