Erasure and obfuscation - a few words on Paul Blanchard

Aug 14 2013

“Erasure and obfuscation. Not very encouraging terms to apply to cultural activity – yet numerous great artists have employed these devices, from the chiaroscuro of the old masters, through Goya’s black paintings, Redon’s lithographs, Bacon’s smeared images, Larry Rivers’ paintings to Rauschenburg’s famous erased De Kooning drawing. It’s a bit like radio as opposed to TV; what one cannot see one constructs in one’s mind. This immediately generates a personal involvement by the viewer with the artist’s work. Paul Blanchard’s debut solo exhibition exemplifies this approach. His paintings give us a limited amount of information, after which we must come to our own conclusions about the artist’s intentions and what we are actually seeing… 

... Blanchard's eyes can be knowing, jealous, sad, vulnerable, tired or even dying. Some are well-defined, some closed, some almost invisible. The eyes are set in heads that are in a greater or lesser state of dissolution, and we must fill in most of the other details ourselves...

…Powerful stuff. When a young artist exhibits demanding work that may not have instant buyer appeal, it demonstrates the commitment that is the hallmark of real potential.”

Excerpts from Warwick Brown's catalogue essay for Paul Blanchard's debut exhibition 'Running With The Baton' - group show, Northart 2012. Courtesy of Warwick Brown.

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