‘There is something death like about a painting finished’ Philip Guston
In his first solo show in London, Finbar Ward presents us with constructions that are born primarily out of the language of painting; the idea that a picture is found or ‘caught out’ during a deferral of closure is what determines the work’s identity.
The work is built up out of the stuff or matter in the artist’s periphery, brought to the fore and exposed in the gallery. Stretchers and stray timbers are stacked, packed and compressed in forms and motifs that allude to the tradition of minimalism, albeit a flat pack incarnation.
Elevated and momentarily preserved in a state of pretend completion, the debris of production is rendered through processes of reassembly and transformation in an endeavor to dramatize, and ultimately, test the potential of painting; the linen surface as likely to find itself hidden away or discarded, as it is to be found mounted on its support.
Anxieties regarding the validity and status of painting have become a driving force in defining the motive behind Ward’s venture, where he endeavors to keep us looking and subvert this ‘death like’ state of the ‘finished’ painting.
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