2018

A series of paintings of figures stranded on a beach or island. A romantic scenario of isolation and introspective exile, the subjects emerge from a film of turbulent and expressive paint, which articulates the mist, spray and vapour of an elemental landscape.

‘Stranded’ and ‘Swimmer 2’ can be seen at the new exhibition, ‘Imagined Worlds’, at The Pontone Gallery, which runs from the 4th to the 28th of January.

www.pontonegallery.com

 

2006 - 2016

A series of paintings of elaborately carved, 'baroque' frames, begun in 2006 and returned to regularly over the years.

The subject has become a symbol for the act of selecting and editing a view.

It is an eye, an aperture and an 'omphalos'.

It refers to the act of painting.

However what is shown within the frame is shifting, indistinct and uncertain.

2007 - 2008

There is a seventeenth century Italian painting in The National Gallery in London of a dead soldier lying flat on his back in a barren landscape.  Once erroneously attributed to Velasquez, it was much admired by Edouard Manet, who used the composition for his painting 'The Dead Toreador'.

Initially unaware of this connection, I had often visited the gallery simply to see this painting and similarly used the composition for a series of paintings of contemporary models.  The format was ambiguous; is the subject dead or resting? It was isolating and allowed for a good critical distance from the subject.  The ostensibly vulnerable pose actually dominates the space of the painting and becomes an example of passive power.

Over the years I have returned again and again to this format.

Several of these paintings of life size subjects and accompanying drawings were exhibited in a one man show in May 2007 at:

'La Viande' Gallery
3 Charlotte Road
London
EC2A 3DH

2010 - 2014

This is a group of large scale drawings of single figures produced over a number of years, principally spanning 2010-2014.  Individual drawings have been shown in many exhibitions.

They feature male and female models, several familiar from other paintings.

The models are subject to careful scrutiny, rendered in charcoal, chalk, pencil and watercolour.

They are images of solitary observation, watchfulness and distraction.  The subject is sometimes aware of the viewers' gaze, sometimes not.

Autumn 2016-2017

This is a series of figures fascinated by their self-absorption. Some are hieratic, derived from baroque and rococo models, engaged in ritual performance. They have an air of self containment, pre-occupied by their exclusive observations, whatever they are looking at only serves to reflect their image.   

May - June 2016

These paintings featured in the inaugural exhibition at The Pontone Gallery’s new space at:

43 Cadogan Gardens
London

'Figures in a Landscape'

This is a series of paintings of nude figures in a landscape, a schematic and loosely rendered grove, the classical setting for many mythological encounters.

The figures interact : they gesture, look, and engage in a dialogue that could be conspiratorial. There is a sense of something about to happen, that they are anticipating an event or planned enterprise, or are challenging each other. In some instances, the figures are paired with themselves, suggesting that this dialogue is internal and dreamlike.

 

 

April 2016

An exhibition at Burgh House, Hampstead, 'Faces and Spaces', featured portraits of the well known actors, Dame Eileen Atkins and Timothy Spall.

Burgh House
New End Square
London
NW3 1LT

 

A selection of these works were shown September - October 2015 in ‘British and Italian Painting’ at:

Shine Artists
49 Albemarle Street
London
W1S 4JR

'Detached'

These are images of detachment, absorption and pre-occupation.

My attention was caught by the seventeenth century artist Abraham Bosse's 'Les Perspecteurs', which shows figures engaged in perspective experiments, paying no heed to their wider surroundings, or others.

I thought I would make some work similarly describing figures intent on a internal process, investigating or thinking about their unique view of the world.

The subjects, for the most part, gaze off into the middle distance, pensive and uninterested in their surroundings, or they closely consider an object within their immediate orbit.

In some cases they are accompanied by others, or by different versions of themselves, who are equally self absorbed.

The work on paper, 'HS', was a prizewinning exhibit in the Derwent Art Prize in September 2016 at The Mall Galleries, London.

The painting 'Horizon' was exhibited in The National Open Art Competition in October 2016 at The Mercers Hall, London.

Friday, 3rd October until Saturday, 25th October 2014

Shine Artists
49 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4JR

I had been looking at Godfrey Kneller's 'Kit-Cat Club' portraits of 48 eminent English gentlemen, painted in the early eighteenth century.  All half-lengths of a standard size, (so as to make no subject more important than another), when seen as group they become a kind of installation of portraiture.  One feels surrounded by 'an architecture of personality'.

This exhibition was inspired by Kneller's group of paintings and sought to create a modern version, with the welcome addition of female subjects.

 

Thursday, 26th June until Sunday 21st September

National Portrait Gallery
St Martin's Place
London WC2H 0HE

Some time ago I was engaged as painting consultant for the forthcoming Mike Leigh directed film 'Mr. Turner'.  I worked with the principal actor, Timothy Spall, teaching him to draw and paint in preparation for his leading role as J.M.W. Turner.  I worked closely with Tim in my studio and, eventually, on location and film set.  His accomplished performance is testament to his dedication to, and interest in, the artist, his life and his method.  Once filming was over, he modelled for this painting.

Saturday 9th until Saturday 30th November

Albemarle Gallery
49 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4JR

Wright's accurate, beautifully realised compositions feature a wonderfully contemporary cast of unknowns. Wright's groups of figures are created from singular studies of his models, which he then assembles and reassembles in endless variations. In so doing he creates composite and temporary societies of strangers, which are at once complementary and conflicting, relaxed yet awkward. His figures - with the idiosyncrasies of their poise perfectly captured - speak of the subtlety of human interactions and of the self-consciousness of social settings.

Tuesday 6th until Sunday 11th November

The Gallery in Redchurch St
50 Redchurch Street
London E2 7DP

Figurative painter Tim Wright reassembles his cast of characters in an unspecified interior space. They bide their time in seemingly empty moments. In a series of interludes the painter studies how they negotiate their social awkwardness. By tracing their gestures and body language he reveals a subtle interaction, layered with art historical allusion, redolent of a drama without words. The paintings explore the atmosphere of the heavy pause with all its potential and threat.

"We have kept our appointment and that's an end to that."
Samuel Beckett

Tuesday 22nd until Sunday 27th November

The Gallery in Redchurch St
50 Redchurch Street
London E2 7DP

In this reaffirmation of portrait painting and the power of the individual, Tim Wright takes a contemporary cast of full-length, clothed figures and assembles them to reveal their splendid isolation. The subjects are combined and recombined in indeterminate social spaces - "like people plonked in a room with people they don't know" - without injuring their integrity.

Against the spirit of the age, Wright eschews celebrity subjects and cropped images in favour of a classical tradition of portraiture which privileges the body, the clothed form and the painted surface. While the characters may be drawn from obscurity, they assume roles which show off their inner and outer lives in life-size grandeur. By insisting on full scale, Wright sets up and proposes that appreciation can best be derived from a critical distance.

This is portraiture that starts with flesh and blood and alchemises into a virtuous reality of paint, layered with the past.

"The proper study of Mankind is Man"
(Alexander Pope, Essay on Man)

Christina Hemsley 2011

 
 

© 2018, all text and images are the property of Tim Wright.