New Contemporary Portraiture at Rook and Raven
This month Rook and Raven are displaying the works of some of the emerging auteurs in portraiture. These artists differ greatly in style and medium but share a common love of the portrait, the physical manifestation of humanity. With six different artists using a plethora of techniques and mediums within portraiture, anyone interested in the human face and its representation will find something that catches their eye.
There were three artists that stood out in particular, one of whom was Lionel Smit and his Luminance #1 and Fragmented. His pieces are memorable on a purely aesthetic level as well as in their expressivity. His subjects’ faces are sketched out gently and covered with a layer of bright paint and splashes of colour, capturing somehow an essential part of these unknown women.
Lorna Wadsworth’s Brimstone and Treacle triptych is a series that commands your attention. Depicting the actor Rupert Friend, it is named after the play that he was rehearsing at the time of painting. The left-hand piece, in brimstone red, is a simple, streamlined portrait of the man, which contrasts with the right-hand piece that represents the character lying in wait underneath. Tying these two together is the central piece which, divided into sections, represents the chameleon nature of the actor who, in taking on various roles, is a creature of many parts.
Last is a single piece by Nettie Wakefield, entitled Reversed Portrait. The simple pencil and paper drawing depicts the back of a woman’s head on a plain white background. Its quiet mystery seizes the viewer, making one wonder what her face looks like and simultaneously making assumptions about who she is. Our imaginations run wild in a delicious narrative surrounding the sitter and her story. This understated piece is rich in its simplicity and a true delight to look at and uncover again and again.
The other artists featured are Henry Hudson, Johan Anderson and Cyclops, all of whom also have intriguing pieces for the viewer to examine.
New Contemporary Portraiture is at Rook and Raven until 31st July 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.