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about the artists
b. 1962, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Callum Innes creates abstract paintings that carry a powerful tension between control and fluidity. Dissolution is central to his practice: layers of deep pigments are brushed over with turpentine, breaking down sections of paint and leaving watery, trace elements, before being painted over again. Repeating this process of painting, dissolving and repainting multiple times, Innes builds depth and a sense of history: oblique panels of dense pigments become embedded and fortified, while tiny trickles or rivulets of liquified paint point to their underlying fragility.
b.1960, Cardiff, Wales.
Merlin James considers the history and legacy of painting from an unconventional viewpoint. As commented by Artforum’s Sherman Sam, his work “has sought to rigorously problematise the experience of painting while simultaneously deepening its formal language”. Generally small in scale, his works depict diverse subject matter including vernacular architecture, riverside views, post-industrial landscapes, empty interiors, mysterious figures and scenes of sexual intimacy. His works refine and renew many of painting’s most time-honoured concerns – genre and narrative, pictorial space and expressive gesture, the emotive resonance of colour and texture.
b. 1985, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Sam Keogh works with installation, sculpture, performance, drawing and collage. His intricate built environments incorporate diverse materials, from collages, ceramics and painted panels to plastic skeletons, gunge-soaked computer desks, plants and bits of rubbish. These concoctions of image, object and detritus stem from Keogh’s research connecting wide-ranging and sometimes surprising topics, including political movements, biological processes, archaeology, housing, science fiction, and pop cultural phenomena.
Described by critic Isobel Haribson as “epic, enigmatic and evocative”, Elizabeth Magill’s paintings present subjective and psychological takes on the landscape genre. Rich with kaleidoscopic patterning and fragmented forms, these vistas are embedded in place but transported through the artist’s imagination, memories, photographs or moods to be presented as something other. Magill’s complex and densely layered paintings are produced using various techniques, at times incorporating stencilling, screenprinting and collage, as well as the pouring, blending, dripping, splashing and scraping away of paint. Film and photography are also central to her research, shaping the way the artist looks at landscape, and infusing her approach to light, tone and atmosphere.
b. 1974, Dublin, Ireland.
Isabel Nolan has an expansive practice that incorporates sculptures, paintings, textiles, photographs, writing and works on paper. Her subject matter is similarly comprehensive, taking in cosmological phenomena, religious reliquaries, Greco-Roman sculptures and literary/historical figures, examining the behaviour of humans and animals alike. These diverse artistic investigations are driven by intensive research, but the end result is always deeply personal and subjective. Driven by “the calamity, the weirdness, horror, brevity and wonder of existing alongside billions of other preoccupied humans”, her works give generous form to fundamental questions about the ways the chaos of the world is made beautiful or given meaning through human activity.
b. 1967, Zurich, Switzerland.
Liliane Tomasko’s abstract paintings employ a distinctive, bold lyricism with an unabashed sense of colour. Exploring the intimacy and psychic shifts of the domestic realm, Tomasko often uses personal everyday objects such as bedding or clothing as portals into unconscious, liminal spaces. Intense colour, subtle tone, shadows and painterly gesture are woven together in such a way that space comes in and out of focus, suspending one’s perception of them and emulating the complex, layered threads of dreams and memories.
b. 1986, Dublin, Ireland.
Marcel Vidal makes paintings and sculptures. Quietly disarming and unsettling us with an ominous beauty, Vidal’s paintings are marked by their controlled brushwork, layering oil on linen with delicacy and precision. They are refined and restrained, incarnating brightly lit fragments of photographs or digital images: unidentified figures caught by flashbulbs hold their arms in defensive barriers; glossy foliage catches the light before retreating into darkness; distinguished hands are frozen mid-clap. Vidal’s minimal compositions are severely cropped to reveal only a sliver of their subject, using ambiguity to frustrate interpretation, all while inviting our curiosity.
b. 1969, Hunan, China.
Zhou Li creates paintings, sculptures, installations and public art using mixed media, including oil paint, washes of ink, charcoal and cotton cloth. Her lyrical abstract paintings capture her acute sensory observations of the world: lightness and shadow, solidity and dissolution, the sense of being. Building upon the history of European painting and the central tenets of traditional Chinese art, Zhou Li harnesses both traditions to develop a distinct painterly language. Her paintings looks towards nature as a starting point, particularly the mountainous terrains of Southern China, but are imbued with a sense of much more: every brush stroke on the canvas is driven by her persistent query and pursuit of being.