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Rachel Howard's Northern Echo at Blain Southern

January 10, 2014 by Kay

7th February – 22nd March 2014

Blain Southern

Rachel Howard Insomnia 2013 Oil and acrylic on canvas 61 x 50.8 cm 24 x 20 in
Photo: Prudence Cummings Associates Ltd

As with Rachel Howard's previous investigations into the material potential of household gloss paint, this series of paintings explores the idiosyncratic qualities of oil paint, unpicking the accepted rules of engagement with this most traditional of mediums. By applying and removing paint, Howard creates a palimpsest. The viewer thus simultaneously experiences the final moment in the painting process, as well as the feeling of perpetual flux. This is deepened by the blurring of lines between the genres of abstraction and figuration. A suggestion of landscape is only quietly present, as bridges, trees, the line of the horizon, watery waves and circles seemingly shift in and out of focus, dissolving into unfamiliar images – mere echoes of perceivable shapes.