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© CONVERSATIONS IN PAINTING

Sarah COONEY

Sarah Cooney (b.1982 Stockton-on-Tees) completed her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2008. Selected exhibitions include: ‘Colour Code’, Cupola Gallery, Sheffield (2017), ‘Making a Scene’, NN Contemporary Art Project Space, Northampton (2016), ‘The Trouble with Painting Today’ (curated by Hannah Conroy), Pump House Gallery London (2014), ‘Painting Parade’, LeandaKateLouise, London, (2013), ‘Copy’, (curated by Sarah Kate Wilson) Paper Gallery, Manchester, (2013), ‘Dialogues 10th International Biennial of Contemporary Art, St Petersburg, Russia, (2011), Pretty Deep (inside your head), The Royal Standard, Liverpool (2009), ‘Pale Blue and Green’ (two person show with Jess Flood-Paddock), Permanent Gallery, Brighton (2009), Winter Salon, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2008).

Each painting in my practice occupies its own internal sense, nuance and rhythm. The work combines a personal sensibility with an approach to abstract painting visualised, perceived and imagined through tacit knowledge of painterly processes. Attention is focussed on the nature of the painterly image and the medium of paint. I orchestrate subtle ranges of colour, texture and lyrical gesture, extending a vocabularly of marks that echo across bodies of works. Paint escapes around the edges of the canvas and careworn surfaces reflect the hesitancy and urgency in making work. Painterly revisions accumulate on the canvas alongside traces of provisional marks rubbed away- in a process of sense making.

Deb COVELL

Deb Covell (b.1966, Stockton on Tees) lives and works in Teesside and is represented by Gray Contemporary USA. She received her BA in Fine Art from Liverpool Polytechnic (1989) and her MA in Fine Art from University of East London (2002). Recent solo and group exhibitions include: Eccentric Geometric, Arthouse 1, London, 2017; Bauhaus Babies, Odetta Gallery, New York (2017); Here and Now, Object /A, Manchester, 2016; Real Lines, Gray Contemporary , Houston, USA, 2016; The Fold, Blyth Gallery, London, 2016; We Insist, Biennale of Non Objective Art, Grenoble, France, 2015; Fall of the Rebel Angels, Riva Dei Sette Martiri, 55th Venice Biennale 2015;Sha Boogie Bop, Anonymous Gallery, New York (2014); Real Painting, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 2015; From Nowt to Summat, MIMA, Middlesbrough (2014); Absolute Zero, PS2, MIMA , Middlesbrough (2014); Zero, Untitled Gallery, Manchester (2013); North South Divine, WW Gallery, London (2013); This That and the Other, Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough (2012); Forthcoming exhibitions include New Modern , Saturation Point Projects, London, 2017, 0/1 KNO, Mala Gallery,National Art Museum Complex, Ukraine 2017 and Painting Black, Wilhelm Morgner Museum, Germany, 2017. She was a finalist in the 2014 Aesthetica Art Prize and her works are held in private and public collections including the MIMA Collection, Middlesbrough. 

 

My practice explores the sculptural qualities of paint and investigates its inherent material properties by affording it a central role. My works reference pivotal moments of 20th century abstraction, in particular the non-objective, geometric works of the early and late Modernist movements such as Suprematism, Constructivism, De Stijl and the American Minimalists who often rejected pictorial space and illusion in favour of a more factual 'realness' where each piece operates independently without a referential bias.

 

I have omitted the traditional support of a canvas or board in a attempt to explore an unrestrained practice free from a given edge or particular surface that could hinder the progression of my ideas and forms; instead, I investigate the malleable properties of paint using a playful process which starts by me creating a rectangular mass of set paint onto which I then cut, crease, bend and fold the material which often leads onto me collapsing the object into a solitary heap on the floor or suspend it vertically on the wall.

 

Although I predominantly see my self as a painter my works conflate the two mediums of painting and sculpture and thus evade the aesthetic autonomy of each genre. As such I aim to create a visual space in which painting, which is typically a horizontal plane that projects the illusion of three dimensions, becomes a three dimensional sculptural object that defies pictorial illusion in favour of the real. 

Gordon DALTON

Gordon Dalton (b. Middlesbrough 1970) lives in Cardiff. Solo shows include Trade Gallery, Nottingham; Bay Art, Cardiff; Bank Gallery, LA; Motorcade Flash Parade, Bristol; Keith Talent, London; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (with S Mark Gubb). Group shows include Newlyn Art Gallery & Exchange; MIMA, Middlesbrough; Del Infinito Gallery, Buenos Aires; Transition Galley, London; Syson, Nottingham, JirSandel, Copenhagen; Chapter, Cardiff; Arcade, London; CAC, Vilnius; Moravian Gallery, Brno; NGCA, Sunderland; Cynthia Broan, New York.His work was recently selected for Contemporary British Painting Prize; Beep Wales Open, Swansea; Quay Arts Open, Isle of Wight; Exeter Contemporary Art Open; Bankley Open, Manchester and Y Lle Celf National Eisteddfod. Current and upcoming shows include Stiwdio, Bay Art, Cardiff; We Are The Ones, Carlsberg City Gallery, Copenhagen; Manchester Contemporary Art Fair.He is represented by LLE Gallery http://llegallery.com/

 

Everything beautiful is far away

Dalton’s paintings have an anxious contradiction, with the work being self-conscious of what it is, its possible failings, yet it revels in a new found simplicity.

They have a real subject (landscape), but the paintings are an invention, full of contrasts and spontaneity with various perspectives and multiple horizons. The seemingly offhand approach denies any superficial finesse to reveal a love of awkward imagery, polluted colours and a stuttering bad grammar.

They combine memories of places he has lived, visited or longingly imagined including both post-industrial South Wales (where he lives) and Teesside and North Yorkshire, (where he grew up).

The paintings are not directly of these places, or fictional journeys, but rather the melancholy of longing and also of wanting to belong. An unfashionable romanticism grounded in the act of painting.

Importantly, they are about painting. Dalton’s work asks the viewer to look longer and harder at what painting is, and why it continues to be curious and fascinating.

Phil GATENBY

Phil Gatenby (b. Stockton on Tees) completed the MA Fine Art course at Newcastle Polytechnic in 1990 and retired from his appointment as Head of Fine Art at Teesside University in 2014. Selected exhibitions include: Crossing Borders (installation) Felix the Gallery, Middlesbrough Art Weekender (2017), AIR Residency Exhibition, Das Spectrum, Utrecht, Netherlands (2016) White Noise, Installation, Circulation Recording Studios, Darlington (2001), Rivers Bed, Live-stock.ram/fm web-cast and radio project‚ ARC, Stockton on Tees (2000), Open Art, ‘Against’ acrylic paint and plastic text, Middlesbrough Art Gallery (1995), Open Art, ’Measured and Exposed‚’ digital print, Middlesbrough Art Gallery (1994), Northern Open, London Group, Royal College of Art (1984), Sunderland Arts Centre & Touring Exhibition, Sunderland (1983), London Group, South East London Art Gallery (1981), London Group, Camden Arts Centre (1977) and New Contemporaries, Royal Academy (1977).

Since retiring from my role as Head of Fine Art in the School of Arts & Media at Teesside University my primary interest remains the singular discipline of painting. With due consideration of the space permitted or denied to sustain its legitimacy I give attention to its advocacy and progression, particularly so in a post 1989 milieu.

Starting out on a new painting idea begins with a ritually imposed tactic: the intent to avoid pictorial narrative, habitual semiotics and populist kitsch, sufficiently so to allow the fluidity of figure and ground to be convincingly stilled. The intrigue for me is all about the act of making and the materiality of paint, favoured for its capacity to be mutable, malleable and eventually yielding. Resolving a work is always about being settled with what the work is saying or doing when subject and object coalesce.

Figuring theory occupies a de facto role as studio furniture and welcomes current research into art and aesthetics attesting: ‘the mistakes of post modernists when they identify art’s claim to autonomy not with art’s necessary reflection on it’s own conditions of possibility, but with simplistic notions of elitism and historicism.’ (John Roberts, Wolverhampton University).

 

Critical acuity of this order is refreshing, has kinship with my understanding of post-modernist assumption as ‘the triumph of desire over substance’ and offers a challenge to the contrived novelties of the current neoliberal paradigm.

Remy NEUMANN

Remy Neumann is a painter born in Geleen, Netherlands. He currently lives and works in s’ Hertogenbosch. He studied art at AKV St. Joost in s’ Hertogenbosch where he graduated for his BFA in 2012. His work concentrates around theme’s concerning transformation and various forms of growth and decay. In his paintings he combines everyday-materials with oil-paint to complement the content of his imagery. Inspirations are the cycle of life and alchemy. Remy participated in various group exhibitions in the Netherlands and Belgium and was artist-in-residence in Ghent, Utrecht and Leipzig. His work is part of the collection of the Luciano Benetton foundation and various private collections in the Netherlands.

 

The transformation of matter is very important in my work. My subjects deal with the cycle of life and death, and different forms of growth and decay are omnipresent. These processes often overlap each other, like maggots eating their way through a rotting carcass. There is something profound about babies transmuting rotten flesh into the ability to fly. In my work I make use of a range of materials, which refer to forces inflicted on the body. For instance leather, silicones and nails. The act of painting is a series of movements in which I relate to my subject in a physical way. It is a form of thinking in which Immaterial things become tangible through the choreography of painting.

Alicia PAZ

Alicia Paz has had several solo exhibitions in the UK, France, Germany, Mexico, and Argentina, most recently at Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Germany (2015-2016). This exhibition was accompanied by a 96-page bilingual monograph published by Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Vienna Other solo projects include an exhibit at Dukan Gallery in Leipzig (2014) and at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Paris (2013). A semi-retrospective exhibit of her work was featured in L.A.C. Sigéan in collaboration with FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, as part of the regional biennial titled Casanova Forever (2010). Paz has participated in various international painting survey exhibits such as Slow Magic, Contemporary Approaches to Painting at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2009) as well as Heute. Spektrum. Malerei. at Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (2012). Her work was included in the notable group exhibit Tous, des sang-mêlés, recently held at MACVAL, Vitry-sur-Seine, France (2017). Earlier solo presentations include Drawing Now Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre with Galerie Dukan & Hourdequin (2012), as well as Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London (2006) and Ruth Benzacar Gallery in Buenos Aires (2005). Paz's work is part of various public and private collections has been the subject of numerous catalogues and publications; her work has has been reviewed/featured internationally (Art News, Art Press, Modern Painters, Art Forum, The Guardian, Le Monde, Libération, Beaux-Arts Magazine, New York Times, Reforma, etc…).

 

Alicia Paz's paintings, collages and standing figures deal primarily with identity and the notion of a divided subject/author, and explore the mutability of subjectivity. In recent years, Paz has focused on the female figure: the Self is experienced and presented as multiple, paradoxical, and in flux.  Inhabiting fantastical and exotic landscapes, Paz's feminine subjects become fused and combined with organic life.  Strange and unsettling visions of tree-women and monster-women also represent the fusion of the Subject with painting itself: she often depicts amphibian or plant-like figures  “weeping” pigment, their limbs, hair, and various ornamental accoutrements mud-caked and dripping, as if extracted from a colourful, post-cognitive swamp.