31 July – 13 September 2009 Free admission
Slow Magic examines different approaches to contemporary painting that are playful and enchanting. Featuring the work of six international artists, the exhibition will offer summer visitors to the Bluecoat lively and colourful show. Exhibiting artists are: Andrew Bick (UK), Rafal Bujnowski (Poland), Tomory Dodge (USA), Vincent Falsetta (USA), Henriette Grahnert (Germany), Alicia Paz (Mexico)
Decisions made by artists when painting are revealed through contrasting surfaces and colours. These abstract paintings tell stories through layers, consisting of marker pen, perspex, wax, smoke and collage materials, as well as thick paint. The selection of works included in the exhibition highlight that just like a conjurer, it is the artist’s sleight of hand that makes painting magical. All the featured artists have been chosen because their works investigate illusion and the possibilities of paint.
Vincent Falsetta’s small, intricate and abstract paintings suggest waves of sound or water. His colour studies and preparatory index cards will be on display also, revealing his detailed planning and decision-making process when creating a painting. Falsetta’s work has not been shown in the UK before. The highly respected Californian painter Tomory Dodge’s work is big and gestural, with expressive and sensuous surfaces and vibrant colours. His works on show will include a new painting made especially for this exhibition. Rafał Bujnowski will be showing works which examine tensions between the process of artistic production and consumption, playing with the viewer’s perceptions by using hyper-realist techniques. Viewers will wonder, is painting flat or three-dimensional?
Henriette Grahnert’s large, dense paintings play with the sense of a flat space punctuated by drips, smears, smoke stains and thick layers of paint.
Alicia Paz’s eye catching works (see below) explore the tension between realism and a cartoon world. Her paintings also reveal an engaging eclectic mixture of historical genres such as Rococo and Surrealism.
Alongside paint, Andrew Bick uses wax, marker pen and perspex to reveal a process of painting as a visual puzzle.
Christmas Tree, 2008 (oil, acrylic & collage on canvas)
Private Collection, Paris