Gordon Dalton & Chris Shaw
10th May - 14th July 2019
(Please note the gallery will be closed from 14th - 30th June)
The common ground of Gordon Dalton & Chris Shaw's paintings forms the focus of Quack. The potential of a duck as a compositional device in a painting, the references to taste implicated in the iconography of this ubiquitous wild animal of the British landscape, the articulation of quackery - bad practice in clinical scenarios - but an attractive position of freedom from structure and a licence for idiosyncratic thought in the role of a painter. The ceramic wall relief duck quacks across a million living room walls. Cheap, banal and very British.
Chris Shaw's work in Quack represents a concerted effort to move into an automatic mode of working. Brushes are banished in an economy of technique - the paintings are playful, yet retain the organised and serious edge of an artist pushing processes and materiality. The subjects directly echo elements from other artists, though they are turned into something unique through this process of working.
Compositionally they utilise a classic stage-space within the painting. Eye-catching but brash up close, they have a couldn't-care-less aspect which combats a tendency to care too much about things. Natural cautiousness is pushed aside in the name of freedom. Using a sponge to print out the painting, machine-like, gives a low resolution, giant pixel effect, with warmth and depth in the image.
Gordon Dalton's paintings locate landscape within a metaphysical realm steeped in subjective invention, polluted colours, contrasts and awkwardness. The paintings function as though we are looking into a test-space where the elements of a real place resolve and promptly evaporate in a continual cycle of activity. The paintings in Quack primarily deal with the feeling of something lost - they ask the viewer to look longer and harder at what painting is, and why it continues to be curious and fascinating. Drawing on real locations, scenes from art history, memories and places called home, an idea of a place and the emotions of longing are embedded behind the encrusted surface of the pictures.