Night Games (detail)

Paul Housley

Night Games (detail)

17 October 2013 — 13 December 2013

17 Oct 2013 — 13 Dec 2013

Paul Housley:


They Bloom at Night

They Bloom at Night represents a collection of work by Paul Housley that spans eighteen years of the artists’ career. The earliest works date from 1995 made whilst the artist was still a MA student at the Royal College of Art the latest are works made this year. The show aims to illustrate something of the range and ambition of Housley’s artistic output. He has worked in many mediums in both 3D and 2D and continues to explore new possibilities.

 

The earliest works are from a period where the artist often used text and has a predominately ‘low tech’ appearance, incorporating found objects, restricted colours and echoes of the art povera movement. Readymade Abstract is a case in point, a piece of faded striped material from an abandoned deckchair is stretched over a crude wooden frame to produce a readymade abstract painting which is offered as a kind of ego deflating sacrifice to notions of painterly skills and ideas of authorship.

 

Another piece from this period The Tennis Girl is a teddy bear painted garish purple and nailed directly to the wall by dozens of 4 inch nails, the title an oblique reference to an infamous Athena poster from the 1970s. Similarly the piece ‘This is a Wife’ operates somewhere between a painting and a sculpture , a paint laden tea spoon is attached to a small rectangular deeply stretched white canvas. Like much of his work these pieces operate as totemic objects, psychical manifestation rather than mere ‘pictures’, they are imbued with intellectual and emotional resonance, and vibrate with the hopes, fears and desires of the artist.

 

The years shortly after leaving college saw the artist making a large number of small scaled drawings and paintings, executed on reclaimed hardback book covers, these pieces were often figurative and of a darkly humorous nature and are represented here by a few examples that survived from that period.

 

Housley as shown over a long period of time has a restless inquisitive mind and a hunger to explore different mediums and genres within his artistic output. He has become increasingly interested in the historic traditional genres of still lives, portraiture and most recently the much maligned landscape. However the works he makes never simply slot into one genre or another but are rather a hybrid.

 

He refers to several works as being a ‘Portrait of the object’, the genre of portraiture and still life being melded together in the painting of ornament which takes on the aspects and psychological weight of a ‘self portrait’. Re-occuring motifs become characters in the ever increasing internal world of the artist. Objets and motifs begin to meld and interchange so the dots on dice take on the aspects of eyes and the darkened windows of the buildings he as recently started to paint.

 

His interest in the past and the artistic challengers that arise from engaging in the oeuvres of past masters is explored in depth in the essay ‘The River’ written by Martin Herbert for the artists recent monograph Music from the Studio. In it Herbert speaks of ‘life long engagement with forbears go on; an absorbing alternation of learning and intent looking, developing eye and hand, and seeking to overmaster the greats, or at least rise to their occasions. Painting in these circumstances is a clandestine language, fluently spoken — and heard as it were — by few. But spoken nonetheless. For artists who recognise the stakes at hand, the goal is to enter, progressively exhilarated, a living conversation spanning centuries, to jump in a deep and wide river and change its present course’.

 

The launch of the book Music from the Studio will coincide with the show.
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    Installation View

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    Installation View

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    Installation View

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    Installation View

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    Installation View

  • Monument to the Sons of Laughter

    Paul Housley

    Monument to the Sons of Laughter, 2013

    oil on canvas
    53.5 × 64cm

  • Red Cityscape

    Paul Housley

    Red Cityscape, 2013

    oil on canvas
    80 × 60cm

  • Baroque Boot

    Paul Housley

    Baroque Boot, 2013

    oil on found canvas and frame
    52 × 62cm

  • Loose Hand

    Paul Housley

    Loose Hand, 2013

    oil on canvas
    81 × 60cm

  • The Writer

    Paul Housley

    The Writer, 2013

    oil on paper
    40 × 30cm

  • Little Woodstock

    Paul Housley

    Little Woodstock, 2013

    oil on canvas
    35 × 23cm

  • Woodstock

    Paul Housley

    Woodstock, 2013

    oil on canvas
    56 × 40.5 × 2cm

  • Small Blue Torso

    Paul Housley

    Small Blue Torso, 2013

    oil on canvas
    15 × 10cm

  • Golden Scull

    Paul Housley

    Golden Scull, 2013

    10 × 13cm

  • The Impossiblity of Sleep

    Paul Housley

    The Impossiblity of Sleep, 2012

    bronze
    edition 1/5 + 1ap

  • Bearded Painter (Rodin series)

    Paul Housley

    Bearded Painter (Rodin series), 1999

    pen on paper
    30 × 21cm

  • Night Caravan

    Paul Housley

    Night Caravan, 1986

    enamel on book cover
    20 × 26cm

  • Untitled (Rodin series)

    Paul Housley

    Untitled (Rodin series), 1996

    drawing on book page
    29 × 22cm

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    Paul Housley

    22---HOU_96_0031-[LR]-Rodin-Series-Housley-19_WEB, 1996

    drawing on book page
    29 × 22cm

  • Untitled (Rodin series)

    Paul Housley

    Untitled (Rodin series), 1996

    drawing on book page
    29 × 22cm

  • Mick Jagger drawing

    Paul Housley

    Mick Jagger drawing, 1996

    drawing on Julian Schnabel book page
    28 × 24cm

  • Abstract Striped found painting

    Paul Housley

    Abstract Striped found painting, 1994

    deckchair fabric on stretcher
    51 × 38 × 2cm

  • The Tennis Girl

    Paul Housley

    The Tennis Girl, 1995

    found object, paint and nails
    46 × 36cm

  • This is a Wife

    Paul Housley

    This is a Wife, 1994

    spoon, oil paint and transfer lettering on canvas
    49 × 33cm

  • Diagnosis

    Paul Housley

    Diagnosis, 1995

    found photo with felt tip pen
    19 × 24cm

  • Remwonk

    Paul Housley

    Remwonk, 2012

    oil on canvas
    10 × 7cm

  • Between Dreams

    Paul Housley

    Between Dreams, 2013

    oil on canvas
    36 × 25cm

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