Rana Begum

#122. Geoff Hands writes on “HARDPAINTINGX2”

HARDPAINTINGX2 at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton

An exhibition in two parts featuring work by:

Part 1: Richard Bell, Katrina Blannin, John Carter, Catherine Ferguson, Della Gooden, Richard Graville, Morrissey & Hancock, Tess Jaray, Jo McGonigal, Lars Wolter and Jessie Yates

Part 2: Rana Begum, Ian Boutell, Philip Cole, Biggs & Collings, Deb Covell, Stig Evans, Jane Harris, Mali Morris, Jost Münster, Patrick O’Donnell, Carol Robertson and Daniel Sturgis

Richard Bell, ‘Equivalences (2 part painting)’, 2019, each 59.5x42cm

Deb Covell, ‘Fit’, 2017, 27x9x11cm and ‘Blue Pleat, 2018, H24xW15xD3.5cm

Hardpainting as a concept appears to be difficult to pin down. The best advice would be to engage in primary research and visit the exhibitions and see for yourself. Or, if that is not an option, make a note of the exhibitor’s names and search out their works at other venues. For secondary research, trawl through your catalogues and bookshelves and visit the artists’ websites. As you form some notion of what Hardpainting is, there’s one important proviso: exclude the figurative. And a recommendation: be a little speculative and maintain a spirit of deliberate inexactitude. Also, pluralism is good (it’s certainly contemporary), for Hardpainting is not to be placed into a theoretical straight jacket. At least not yet.

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