Jennifer Letchet Paintings

My work explores fundamental elements of painting, the relationship between colour and line. I intend my paintings to affect the viewer optically with the illusion of shapes moving and receding. Colour theory is very important to my work. I use specific hues to symbolise ideas or emotions. The contained shapes on canvases seem more like objects than lines. My recent work explores natural and man-made disasters and the impact this has on our environment. I want to record the changing landscape through simplified shapes and colours.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

How to develop my topographical paintings

I have been considering where to take my work, after my recent paper drawings, I created [and just finished this week] a drawing on gesso.  I had not tried this before and really liked the quality and feel of the graphite on the hard smooth surface of gesso.  Some pencils, depending on the softness, reacted differently in tone and quality of line which I found interesting.  The softer the pencil, the easier it was to make marks.

I have been working with satellite images of change in topography for nearly a year now, and I want to take it further.  I feel my next step it to work on a particular site/media story for a series.  With earlier works I would create a series of drawings or paintings of media events around the topic of topography but not intrinsically lined together by say one catastrophe or one type of disaster e.g. earthquakes.

Do I continue to work in gesso?  What does gesso add to my work?  I have now successfully used oils on gesso; do I want to abandon egg tempera?  Will the outcome be the same with oils?  Do I need paint or could I just use drawings?  And If I do draw, why not revert to paper?  These are all questions I need to resolve and experiment with.  I am not overly concerned but excited, as for the first time I feel comfortable with my work and continually interested in the subject.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Review: Mimmo Paladino Exhibition at the Alan Cristea Gallery 27/03/2012

The new Mimmo Paladino show at the Alan Cristea Gallery is somewhat disappointing.  The gallery is a charming gallery on Cork Street, London.  It has been host to celebrated artists, but Mimmo Paladino's work seems a bit amateur in comparison.  This seems a highly pretentious comment to make, but not unfounded.  His work shows a poor example of watercolours and makes a considered effort at injecting some complexities and concept with the use of assemblage, numbers, abstract heads, landscapes and doodles.  There doesn't seem to be any consideration or theme running through the work.

Review: Anselm Kiefer Exhibition at the White Cube 21/02/2012

Il Mistero delle Cattedrali

This exhibition was the largest show of Kiefer's work to be seen in London.  The title of the exhibition is taken from Fulcanelli (published in 1926), which claimed that the Gothic cathedrals of Europe had openly displayed the hidden code of alchemy for over 700 years.  Kiefer's allusions are never literal but reflect his interest in the mystical and material.  Both title and exhibition reflect Kiefer's fascination with the transformative nature of alchemy. 

The White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey is an impressive location for Kiefer.  The magnitude and scale of Kiefer's paintings deserves a space like this.  White Cube's gallery space in Bermondsey has the clean lines, minimal structure and impersonal grandeur of a Berlin gallery.  Kiefer's work which is rich in symbolism, layers of meaning and associations requires the blank canvas which White Cube provides.

As you enter the gallery space, White Cube have presented Kiefer very differently from their last show of his work.  There is no literature on the walls or formalised labelling for works.  Each work has a bold statement/quote taken from Fulcanelli as the title written above each piece as an emblem for the work.  Each title is hand written in flowing charcoal letters has if pronounced by the artist's own hand.

Each piece of work has its origins in landscape - whether it be a sculpture or a painting.  The paintings have the physicality and presence of a sculpture.  His work continues to lie between 2D and 3D.   His work sits between painting and sculpture, his material practice is not defined, but he presents his work in a variety of 2D and 3D installations.  For me, he is an installation artist.  His work is immersive and captivating.  They present the mystical and mysterious in a sense of heightened reality.

His work shows a labour intensive process of layers of paint and materials, with each layer adding new meaning and depth.  The muted colours and visibly rough textured brush-marks emphasise Kiefer's raw and evocative visions.  On the whole, this exhibition presented Kiefer's work a a statement to be seen and interpreted as it will.  There was no tip-toeing around the audience, which for me felt fresh.  Art today is to concerned with being accessible - spoon feeding the meaning to the audience, treating the public like children.  We should respect the intelligence of the audience and allow them to interpret work and forge their own opinions.  Bravo White Cube.