Gary Wragg, Constant Within The Change: Circuits & Edges
19 November - 5 December 2014
Following the recent publication of Gary Wragg: Constant Within the Change: Five Decades of Paintings: A Comprehensive Catalogue, Alan Wheatley Art is delighted to announce a new exhibition of recent works by renowned British abstract painter Gary Wragg.
The exhibition consists of a selection of 39 paintings from the past two years up to the present.
It is accompanied by a recent publication entitled Constant Within The Change, which includes contributions by Hilary Spurling, Terence Maloon, Matthew Collings, Sam Cornish and Steffanie Sachsenmaier, along with five hundred full-colour images and access to a complete on-line catalogue of Wragg’s paintings.
GARY WRAGG, October 2014:
The poetic dialogue of centre to the edge has flourished throughout the history of art, from the Egyptians to “The Book of Kells”, to Persian and Indian Miniature paintings, up to a certain particularity in Matisse’s use of the border in his paintings and the great late “Cut-outs”, to the superb edge paintings of Jules Olitski and Sam Francis in the 1960s and 1970s.
The selection of paintings in my forthcoming third one-man show at Alan Wheatley Art will describe the transition in my recent work from “Circuits” to “Edges”. These themes have been a periodic preoccupation throughout earlier decades, and continue for me now well into the sixth decade of my life as a painter. The recent paintings continue on from the last works illustrated in the second volume of Constant Within The Change, published in March 2014 and celebrated with the retrospective exhibition at Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, London.
In my work abstract painting means the avoidance of a brand image, and instead of the pursuit or investigation of disparate pictorial means of “Now” states of being. What you see is what is there, it is not something else. This is what I revere, sensations and activities playing around, flowing around, images without formula, that are capable of contradiction. The sensing and sensual processes of my painting forage fresh presences and juxtapositions not restricted by categorization. The titles of the works in the show arise mostly from snippets of Emile Zola’s novel “L’Assommoir”.
The recent paintings focus particularly on the function of central and peripheral perception, incorporating the spontaneous application of paint to echo edge gestures, sometimes as a reflection amidst the central traversing of brush marks. I have a need for my painting to achieve a certain kind of totality, a freshness and illumination of paint, light, colour, gesture, surface and space. While I paint, there is a focus on an accurate meeting of stillness and movement that ultimately vies with my intuitive impulses and the connected-disconnected feelings that may occur. Various intrigues sometimes emerge: how a pure colour can be echoed in a canvas; how a mixed colour can ignite an otherwise static combination to create a particular kind of liveliness. An inquiring activity suffuses a contradictory repose, just as the painting itself comprises the two impossible complementary opposites of a flat surface and illusionary space, to be united as one, neither taking precedence over the other.