It’s my recollection that it was Iwona Blazwick, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, who asked Frank Auerbach how he decided when a painting was finished? She had been sitting for a portrait for two years, and after each session Auerbach had followed his usual tactic of scraping down the entire surface of the painting. Auerbach answered simply, “When something surprising happens.”
In pursuit of that idea, since late 2016 I’ve been deploying a more improvised technique. The process is deliberately more pacey, and the works more painterly. I want to speed up decision-making and make ‘live’ choices; trust judgments that I am not conscious of making, and ask myself what the artist James Rosenquist asked himself, “Am I in there? Or am I on the bank watching?”
I acknowledge that daily travels around the city probably inform my visual vocabulary, however, I think this current body of work swells from somewhere more internal.
In conjunction with the Albert Irvin Estate and Tate, I am currently lead curator of 'Albert Irvin and Abstract Expressionism', to be shown at the Royal West of England Academy, December 2018 - March 2019.
All content © 2015 Stewart Geddes