|Three generations of abstract art|
|Thursday, 09 February 2006 17:15|
Jonathan Lasker, Canaletto, 1988. Courtesy and copyright the artist.
The University's John Hansard Gallery brings together three generations of art in an exhibition of work by three abstract painters which runs from February 14 - April 8.
The exhibition features the widely differing visual styles of artists Patrick Heron, Jonathan Lasker and Katie Pratt. Their work is however connected by a common approach: each artist creates an immediate intuitive action, allowing a series of incidents and accidents to determine the framework. Each then undertakes a slow and painstaking process to bring the painting to completion for their final work.
Patrick Heron, one of Britain’s greatest 20th Century painters, is represented by a series of works from the early 1970s. Three brightly coloured canvases, featuring jigsaw-like shapes in colours often applied straight from the tube, originate from brisk freehand drawing. These rapidly drawn shapes were filled with great expanses of colour, created with thousands of small brush strokes, using a Chinese calligraphy brush. The resulting surface is both uniform and intricate, contrasting spontaneity with a labour-intensive technique.
Jonathan Lasker, Perspect Meadows, 1988. Courtesy and copyright the artist
Three paintings produced nearly two decades later by internationally renowned US painter Jonathan Lasker, take another approach to initial intuitive mark-making. Lasker begins by making doodles on paper with felt pen and biro, which are then transcribed and remade in fully finished paintings.
Katie Pratt, Fixitine, 2005. Courtesy the artist and Kontainer Gallery, LA
Katie Pratt who, in 2001, was the youngest ever recipient of the Jerwood Painting Prize, has made new paintings especially for the exhibition. For Pratt too, responsibility for design at the outset is influenced by external forces. An initial event which results in material being thrown or dropped onto the canvas determines image and appearance from which a structure is negotiated. With a series of deliberated systems, the artist then reworks the paintings with an intricate network of lines and dots.
Katie Pratt, Umbriana, 2005. Courtesy the artist and Kontainer Gallery, LA
Despite the generational gap between each artist’s work and the dramatic contrasts in appearance, a common thread underlies the exhibition. All three painters, in varying degrees, abandon inspiration in favour of a determinate structure — and it is the combination of the chance action, plus a strategy, that unites the work.
Katie Pratt: Artist’s Talk
Tuesday 21 February, 7.30 — 8.30pm
Find out more about her methods and approach to painting, within the context of the exhibition as a whole.
There are also events for children over half term at John Hansard Gallery - see our calendar for further details.
John Hansard Gallery
All images Š copyright their respective owners