AboutPaul Emsley's beautifully observed works will be on show at The Redfern Gallery until 21 April 2011. This exhibition is a brilliant display of the traditional medium of drawing; Emsley's highly-finished works stand out from other contemporary artists, in a period when other, supposedly more modern, media such as film and installation are more fashionable.
âDrawing is an endangered species, but, like the novel, having been regularly pronounced dead, it continues to flourish. Few artists, however, are draughtsman of Emsley's skill and total involvement.' Andrew Lambirth, 2011
Emsley was based in South Africa before moving to England in 1996. Career highlights include winning the 2007 BP Portrait Award and a commission of V.S. Naipaul for the National Portrait Gallery. His detailed black and white drawings vary in theme from portraits to animals and flower studies. Emsley's most famous sitter to date has been Nelson Mandela; it is an authentic and dignified portrayal, a memorable and deeply moving image.
âIn my drawings I try to emphasise the singularity and silence of the form. By a careful balancing of tones I emphasise the way in which light and shade fall across the subject. By creating a settled half-light I try to transform the existence of the object from the ordinary to something more profound.' Paul Emsley, 2011
An illustrated hardback book is available with an essay by Andrew Lambirth.