Exhibitions - 4 April 2020

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Pictures in "Neil Shawcross: 'Red Hot' Recent Paintings"

17 Oct 2008 - 7 Nov 2008

The Pigyard Gallery hosts 'Red Hot' - new paintings by Neil Shawcross RUA during the Wexford Festival Opera.
Nicknamed 'bottle portraits', in this exhibition brightly coloured labels, iconic shapes and exotic flavours trigger a painterly response.

Here are some Shawcross comments:

(On Subjects for Painting): 'I use physical and still life images to trigger me. My work isn’t about ideas; it’s about creating exciting uses of paint. The images I select are as simple as possible.

(On the Painting Process): I always start with a blank canvas—no backgrounds. Pure theatre! I start by doing the bones of a drawing, then feel my way into it. I’ve got the skeleton and can build up the paint. I love the activity of marks on blank white prepared canvas—a range of marks through to line, to quite heavy impasto in places where form is described…then there comes a point when the canvas is placed on the flat and I have a series of loose washes. I throw quite a lot of turps.

(On the role of Chance and Mood): 'There is only one (portrait sitting). There’s a lovely tension between me and the sitter that wouldn’t be there at other times. I like to accept that tension, that mood. I read John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley. He’s in a bar talking to a total stranger and the only thing they have in common is that they have both visited Prague. But the guy didn’t recognise Steinbeck’s Prague and vice versa. Then he thought: I visited in the morning, but if I visited in the afternoon it would be a different place. This made it clear in my mind—in a second session I’d be painting a different person.'

(On Colour): 'Red and green have a fascination for me … the drama … it’s the most satisfying contrast of colours for me.'

Quotations taken from interview by Brian McAvera for Irish Arts Review magazine.
To read interview in full visit: Shawcross Interview

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