Gala Leo Casino – An encounter with CULLEY
24 September – 26 November 2010
Abstract works by Mersyside based Irish artist, Derek Culley.
“Derek Culley a mark maker” I first met with Derek Culley in the late ‘70s. At that time he was looking at Celtic imagery. Moving to England he discovered the 1950s group of British painters like Terry Frost, Denis Bowen, John Hoyland to name but a few. Denis, one of the iconic British artists became a close friend and mentor to Derek. Through immersion in art and consistently looking Culley began to find his voice. His link with street art cannot be denied. The apparent abandonment of image towards a form of graffiti like mark making can be descriptive. Culley uses the marks within the image to un settle his picture plane.
He uses this technique to understand the surfact tension. Once having lost control of the image he wrestles control back. Being brave in his use of colour, he uses colour in its raw form. These are not “pretty paintings” but paintings from the heart, sometimes funny often with a logical wisdom. What makes Derek Culley a painter of note is the fact that he challenges the viewer to look at his world, a world that does not come easy? But one that comes with an aesthetic challenge.
The palette of primary colour can obscure not just the aesthetic quality of the work but lead us the viewer to a world that is on one hand edgy and on the other ordered, almost mathematical. To reflect back to the Irishness in Culley’s work many gaps in the knowledge of our contemporary world are still fulfilled by notions of magic and clairvoyance. These notions come from our imagination. It is this that Culley taps into, a Yin and Yang, order and fear lessness.
Through all of this exploration Culley has remained true to himself and his one constant being a true and brave mark – Eamon Colman Artist / Aosdána July 2008 – Alternative Entertainments Exhibition – Tallaght Dublin
Part of the Independents Liverpool Biennial strand.
Gala Leo Casino
44 Chaloner Street,
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