25 June – 31 July 2015
In the diffused light of an arctic whiteout no shadows are cast. The horizon line is lost and the landscape becomes abstracted.
WHITEOUT brings together paintings by five leading UK artists from different generations, whose work is defined by light and luminosity of surface. Dan Roach, the youngest artist in the exhibition, has fast become regarded for distinctive images that employ repeated motifs, which hover and coalesce within the translucent layers of the painting’s surface. Roach’s statement that his work could be characterised by a sense of ‘reiteration, recurrence and a particular contemplation between gesture and form’, could be applied to approaches taken by all the artists in the exhibition.
Jane Harris and Trevor Sutton, both highly respected abstract painters, work within the frameworks of minimalism in quite individual ways. Harris’ practice has been described by Barry Schwabsky, as ‘rococo’: synthesizing ‘two seemingly contradictory artistic impulses – toward severity and simplicity … multiplicity and ornateness’.
Sutton’s recent paintings, for all their subtle seductions, have a kind of ‘steeliness’ within their repeated, nuanced grids. Both he and Graeme Todd relate to aesthetics found in oriental objects and architecture – the gentle lighting of an empty screened room, or the reflective surface of a lacquer box.
Todd’s mixed media works on panel hover between abstraction and representation of a kind, trapping fragments of drawing within polished layers of varnish and paint. Alexis Harding’s more anarchic works rely on a tension between chance and intervention: ‘If this painter’s objects could make a noise, one imagines that sound would at least be like the cracking of glaciers or the groan of a scuppered ship as it sinks beneath the waves.’ (Martin Holman: Time Share 2006)