In my art the theme is my priority, with an understanding of art history and technical skill the portrail is considered. After an extended period I choose my approach, always avoiding adherence to a single unified style to define everything.
Arthur C. Danto, philosopher and respected art critic, once wrote an interesting article on the painter Gerhard Richter. He describes a retrospective of Richter’s work in Chicago in 1987.
In essence, the variety in Richter’s work left him in the belief he was in a some sort of a group show, containing a number of artists work.
I hope the viewer can appreciate a like degree of variety in my work. As I dedicate the themes potency over an individualised style to capture all.
Pentimento (or plural pentimenti) will be familiar to most who have studied paintings and have recognised a change in the paints texture hinting at ’something else’ beneath the existing surface of the painted work. It commonly takes the form of an artist making a simple refinements in the placement of people, poses or objects, In some works it may even offer us visual signs of forgotten content, an aesthetic or contextual re-evaluation.. In my own series I consider the pentimenti as a residual memory layered and offered as a retained part of the complete theme. Personally, I find some themes difficult to evoke in a single opache layer of paint on a surface. For part of pentimenti series I have included the ‘layering in’ of resonant iconic works, they ultimately convey a gravity under my imposed paint layering or the cubed modulations.
A technical insight into how these artworks were produced can be viewed on ‘works 5’.
‘Gift of earth I’, 2014, painted relief sculpture, 480 mm x 480 mm. In the ground layer I have included Massaccio’s ‘Expulsion of Adam and Eve’, Brancacci Chapel, Florence. The flat painted surface of the original I have sculpted into this relief form.
‘Gift of earth II’, 2014, painted relief sculpture, 480 mm x 480 mm.
‘Lapis sources’,2014, 480 mm x 480 mm, gessoed board tiles painted and coated with an array of natural and synthetic ultramarines.
2009 – oil on canvas
‘Pataphysical beginnings (Threshold XXIII)’, 2015, oil on canvas, 500 mm x 500 mm
‘Then,vary’ 2010, oil on canvas, 500 mm x 500 mm.
‘portrait of the artist as a young boy in his class’ 2009, oil on canvas 600 mm x 600 mm.
‘A’, 2010, oil on canvas, 600 mm x 600 mm
‘Natures version II’. 2012, oil on canvas, 500 mm x 355 mm.
With ‘Natures version I’ I start an examination in my early encounters of art when very young. My use of blurring and monochrome colouration may suggest a distancing possibly in time, memory or by reduced perceptions of a world yet largely unexplained. (see above also, ‘pataphysical beginnings’, ‘A’ and ‘portrait of
the artist as a young boy in his class’).
‘snow ark I’, 2009, oil on canvas 600 mm x 600 mm
‘snow ark II’, 2009, oil on canvas 750 mm x 600 mm
2008 – 2010 oil on canvas
Conduit II, 2009, oil on board, 600 x 600 mm.
Conduit I, 2009, oil on canvas, 600 x 600 mm.
Conduit III ‘Re‘, 2008, oil on canvas, 800 mm x 600 mm.
The Conduit series explores the linear route literal and symbolic in the act of painting. Transformative control In most of the series generates a tension and suggest a psychological movement that transcends an often-commonplace perspective and view.
In conduit 1 I have added a layer of genuine Lapis lazuli worked into a grainy textured substrate, contrasting the substrate under the gilded icon, this area has a smooth amorphous gesso ground where a layer of 24 carat gold particles are fused onto the surface.
Conduit IV, 2008, oil on canvas, 500 x 700 mm.
Conduit V ‘all routes’, oil on canvas, 600 x 600 mm.
“Skilful and often subtle use of materials and age-old techniques are commonplace in Mowbray’s work, these inclusions are frequently understated and may even go unnoticed.”
Conduit VI gouache on linen, 420 mm x 300 mm.
Conduit VII gouache on linen, 420 mm , 300 mm.
2009 oil on canvas
The Hopper series explores a capacity for shifts in meaning when only the slightest of changes are made to iconic works of art. Edward Hopper’s art I greatly respect so with a focused attention to detail and scale I approached this series. My initial concept was to adjust by increment the moment captured. I also felt it important to remain faithful to the painterly style of Hopper, as I believe this offers greater capacity for alternate definitions without the distraction of a new stylised format that could interfere with the viewers recollection of Hoppers originals.
‘A view of an Office at night’. 2009, oil on canvas 562 mm x 635 mm,
In ‘office at night’ much has been speculated on the relationship between the male and female workers, I wanted to advance the clock by an hour, presenting the office devoid of its characters. A response to seeing this familiar work without its central dynamic may develop speculation in the viewer. For me they have gone their sperate ways, just as the weeks or years before have witnessed in Hoppers portrayal of this tiny alchemical environment. This painting was selected for a major exhibition in Orleans House in 2010.
A view of Car C compartment’, 2009, oil on canvas, 1118 mm x 740 mm,
In ‘car c compartment’, the interior of the train contains a marginal of change merely the view out the window, the view is a composite from another of hoppers coastal paintings, and also relates to one of my own paintings “Condiut III Re” which I believe was subliminally influenced by this work.
Hoppers ‘Summertime’ often viewed as a celebratory meditation on time and existence presents the female character in a radiant posture. I have in my version adopted a scene from seconds prior, before she completely reaches the full sunlight. The use of a decapitating shadow gives further emphasis to the form of the torso. This dynamic obscuring of the face evokes ‘film noir’ methods, generating tension in a form juxtaposed by light and shadow.
‘A view of Summertime’ 2009, oil on canvas, 500 mm x 450 mm.
All Images & Content © 2010 Paul Mowbray