A very painterly exhibition of complementary styles by two artists who admire and respect each others work. The artists were trained in quite different schools, quite different traditions even, yet both approach their subjects through an understanding of space, light and colour.
The exhibition features the strong landscapes and still-life work of Philip Richardson, and the instantly recognisable figures and faces of Steven Lindsay. Both artists are constantly developing their approach and combine sheer technical ability with an imaginative look at colour and space.
Across all of the work, superb brushwork and painterly skills are much in evidence.
Born in Hertfordshire, Philip was educated at Liverpool University School of Art, where he took a first in Fine Art. He lived in Italy for sixteen years until 1996 and in subsequent years spent his time between Catalonia and Kent. Currently, he is living in Kent.
Because his paintings are, above all, about compositional and colour relationships, he restricts his work to landscapes and still lifes. Any inclusion of a figure would alter this by introducing an anthropomorphic narrative and a different and particular empathy between the viewer and the painting.
‘At art school we were taught to regard painting as an experimental activity; something I still believe, it is not about image-making. My recent paintings are probably about the same things I was investigating twenty-five years ago, namely how we perceive the world, and the age-old game of exploring the complexities of pictorial composition, something very much like chess.
I used to always work from observation, but over the last five years I have worked more in the studio from colour notes, and what I have in my mind. My visual memory is good, thanks to the experience of working so much from life. Working more in the studio releases me from the tyranny of the actual, I feel much freer now. Although I observe my still lifes I find my mark-making far less about the actual configurations in front of me. I find now the less I put down what I observe, the more I am painting what I see.’
After graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1985, Steven Lindsay embarked on a successful career in the Music industry. As a recording artist he released albums for Virgin, Warner brothers and EMI. In 2005 and 2007 his solo albums were lauded by the Sunday Times, Guardian, Telegraph and the Independent amongst others.
In 2008 he returned to Glasgow School of Art night classes to study figure drawing and began a new career as an artist. He was soon winning Art prizes and in 2010 was short-listed for ’The Aspect prize’, Scotland’s most prestigious painting award.
He is now a full time painter. His work sees a traditional painting style, mostly figurative given a contemporary narrative by using space and light as a backdrop to his mostly solitary figures. His painting style engages the viewer to make a connection with the Art of the past as well as the present, with the emphasis on composition, structure and craft.
Estelle Lovatt, the art critic featured on the New Radio 2 Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman described his work as - “like revisiting Vermeer in the Dutch Golden Age of painterly skill against the Colour Field of Rothko, all intertwined with an aesthetic twist of contemporary, complex-simplicity. Lindsay using his paintbrush eloquently, capturing painterly conversations between the art history giants of a bygone age and a bygone art.”