AboutStephen Finer's paintings take the study of the human head or figure as their subject. Some he names others not, but throughout, his motive is to search for identity and character and to reveal something more contemplative and more profound than immediate likeness.
He is secretive about his way of working. He resists discussion about his aims and methods. We don't know if he makes preparatory drawings or studies but it seems that he knows, or has close human contact with each of them, and that this relationship is an absolute part of his activity as a painter. Some are dense and heavily painted, some more spontaneous, the paint laid on with a vigour and directness that probes the limits between representation and the abstract qualities of the paint itself. We may not always be able to identify individual features but there is a conspicuous and striking human presence.
From the title of this exhibition it may be understood that Stephen had the opportunity to paint the ballet dancer Duncan Hume. They worked together for long sessions, mostly to the music of Arvo Pärt, with Duncan Hume in almost continuous movement. The paintings that emerged from these encounters are at the core of this exhibition.
Stephen Finer was born in 1949. His work has been exhibited regularly in London and abroad since the eighties, including numerous prestigious group shows, most notably the National Portrait Gallery exhibitions: The National Portrait Gallery Collects 2003, Painting the Century 2000-2001 and The Portrait Now 1993-4. He has work in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, The British Council, and Arts Council together with other museums and private collections in the Great Britain and the USA.
A catalogue with 15 full colour plates is available. View on line at www.artspacegallery.co.uk