Tate Modern, 30.4.16

I wanted to try and see some of the artists suggested in the research list first-hand.  Unfortunately I picked a time when the Tate is in a changeover stage – so I revisited some of the collections that I have previously seen.  I was pleased with one room – there was one Peter Doig and two Luc Tuyman paintings so this is my focus.

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What I connected with mostly from Peter Doig’s ‘Ski Jacket’ 1994 was the technique he used for his figures.  He used the background colour to create their form by painting around the silhouette of the figure in what, thereby bringing the figure forward.  He added colour for clothing and also incorporated shadow into the shape he painted using the white surround.  This also gave the figures an interesting ethereal quality, slightly abstract.

The Luc Tuymans work below was incredible – I gained so much from connecting with his work and making sketches.

I struggle with the bleak nature of Luc Tuyman’s work – I am deeply impressed by it and inspired by the way he works, however, I am not sure I could use the worst of humanity as my starting point for creating work.  I find the contemplation of such atrocities shuts me down as I am unable to process them.

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Luc Tuymans, Issei Sagawa, 2014

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Another deeply tragic subject matter for a painting – interesting to see because the work is said to be influenced by the dark palette of Francisco de Goya’s early 19th Century ‘Black Paintings’ -a departure from Tuymans’ more pale and muted colours. I spent a long time sketching part of the image – I blacked a page with charcoal and then rubbed out areas before adding in more charcoal.  It was a time consuming process but helped me to think spatially in a different way, to consider simplified shapes and composition as well as tonal choices and the impact of simplicity.

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