@TheEastAfrican

GALLERIES: Refined riff on the act of creation…

4 months ago, 14 Apr 10:44

By: Frank Whalley

Painting, a fascinating word. Both a noun and a verb, it describes the physical work we see on the wall and also the act of applying the paint that created it. And it is not restricted literally to paint. We talk of painting with light, and of mixed media paintings that include paper, sand, bits of string and almost anything else you can think of. In the case of one current exhibition, we are offered paintings made to interact with their viewers, that include cloth, rope and steel, as well as canvas and paint. These are the innovative works of Lisa Milroy, whose many concerns include how to capture time in a work of art, over and above David Hockney’s dictum that the time taken to produce a painting remains layered within its surface. For the past nine years Milroy has been head of graduate painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, in central London; one of the most prestigious — and responsible — hands-on jobs in the whole of art because it puts her in a position to influence generations of artists. A lady worth listening to then, and one whose own artistic practice inevitably offers clues to the future direction of painting. Milroy, who has received more honours and awards than I have space to describe, (to give you a quick sample, she is a council member of the Royal Academy of Arts, liaises with the UK National Gallery on behalf of the Tate, and is guest adviser at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam) is captivated by the paintings of the 17th century Spanish master Diego Velasquez, among them his Old Woman Cooking Eggs, a tavern scene made when the artist was aged around 18, now in the National Gallery of Scotland. In it you can see the eggs changing from gelatinous to opaque white… and by extension the passing of time. Unlike the primarily figurative art of Velazquez, Milroy is essentially a painter of still life and remains fascinated by the struggle to realise the materiality of an object. One of the first paintings to greet us at her exhibition Handmade at the newly extended Stables Annex of the One-Off Gallery at Rosslyn, to the west of Nairobi — on until April 29 — is a still life of four glass kettles. The hobs glow, water bubbles, steam rises; time is passing before us. Nearby in Letter/Writing 2003, 27 small monochrome images of a woman writing a letter (a brief essay into figurative painting) are arranged in three decks, like strips of photo negatives, while above them are painted her address book, stamps, envelope, pen and the letter itself. The strips therefore are time-elapsed images of the process of writing; again the passage of time caught on canvas. Viewers become actively involved in two imaginative works. In the first, Espadrilles 2027, we are invited to rearrange two pairs of shoes on coloured squares of canvas laid on the floor. Thus the installation — or painting, as Milroy defines ...
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@TheEastAfrican

GALLERIES: Refined riff on the act of creation…

4 months ago, 14 Apr 10:44

By: Frank Whalley
Painting, a fascinating word. Both a noun and a verb, it describes the physical work we see on the wall and also the act of applying the paint that created it. And it is not restricted literally to paint. We talk of painting with light, and of mixed media paintings that include paper, sand, bits of string and almost anything else you can think of. In the case of one current exhibition, we are offered paintings made to interact with their viewers, that include cloth, rope and steel, as well as canvas and paint. These are the innovative works of Lisa Milroy, whose many concerns include how to capture time in a work of art, over and above David Hockney’s dictum that the time taken to produce a painting remains layered within its surface. For the past nine years Milroy has been head of graduate painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, in central London; one of the most prestigious — and responsible — hands-on jobs in the whole of art because it puts her in a position to influence generations of artists. A lady worth listening to then, and one whose own artistic practice inevitably offers clues to the future direction of painting. Milroy, who has received more honours and awards than I have space to describe, (to give you a quick sample, she is a council member of the Royal Academy of Arts, liaises with the UK National Gallery on behalf of the Tate, and is guest adviser at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam) is captivated by the paintings of the 17th century Spanish master Diego Velasquez, among them his Old Woman Cooking Eggs, a tavern scene made when the artist was aged around 18, now in the National Gallery of Scotland. In it you can see the eggs changing from gelatinous to opaque white… and by extension the passing of time. Unlike the primarily figurative art of Velazquez, Milroy is essentially a painter of still life and remains fascinated by the struggle to realise the materiality of an object. One of the first paintings to greet us at her exhibition Handmade at the newly extended Stables Annex of the One-Off Gallery at Rosslyn, to the west of Nairobi — on until April 29 — is a still life of four glass kettles. The hobs glow, water bubbles, steam rises; time is passing before us. Nearby in Letter/Writing 2003, 27 small monochrome images of a woman writing a letter (a brief essay into figurative painting) are arranged in three decks, like strips of photo negatives, while above them are painted her address book, stamps, envelope, pen and the letter itself. The strips therefore are time-elapsed images of the process of writing; again the passage of time caught on canvas. Viewers become actively involved in two imaginative works. In the first, Espadrilles 2027, we are invited to rearrange two pairs of shoes on coloured squares of canvas laid on the floor. Thus the installation — or painting, as Milroy defines ...
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