17.10.13 – 13.12.13

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.

For more information please contact gallery@belmacz.com or call +44 (0)20 7629 7863

 

Paul Housley
Between Dreams, 2013
Oil on canvas
36 x 25cm
Pau
Red Cityscape, 2013
Oil on canvas
80 x 60cm
Paul Housley
Monument to the Sons of Laughter, 2013
Oil on canvas
53.5 x 64cm
Paul Housley
Baroque Boot, 2013
Oil on found canvas and frame
52 x 62cm
Paul Housley
The Writer, 2013
Oil on paper
40 x 30cm
Paul Housley
Little Woodstock, 2013
Oil on canvas
35 x 23cm
Paul Housley
Loose Hand, 2013
Oil on canvas
81 x 60cm
Paul Housley
Woodstock, 2013
Oil on canvas
56 x 40.5 x 2cm
Paul Housley
Small Blue Torso, 2013
Oil on canvas
15 x 10cm
Paul Housley
Brush Still Life, 2013
Oil on canvas
20.5 x 26 x 1.5cm
Paul Housley
Golden Scull, 2013
Oil on canvas
15 x 10 x 1.5cm
Paul Housley
The Impossiblity of Sleep, 2012
Bronze
edition 1/5 + 1ap, edition 1/5 + 1ap
Paul Housley
Oscar, 2007
Oil on canvas
50 x 40cm
Owl, 2007
Oil on canvas
50 x 40cm
Paul Housley
Snowscape, 2007
Oil on paper
30 x 40cm
Paul Housley
Bearded Painter (Rodin series), 1999
Pen on paper
30 x 21cm
Paul Housley
Night Caravan, 1986
Enamel on book cover
20 x 26cm
Paul Housley
Untitled (Rodin series), 1996
Drawing on book page
29 x 22cm
Paul Housley
Untitled (Rodin series), 1996
Drawing on book page
29 x 22cm
Paul Housley
Untitled (Rodin series), 1996
Drawing on book page
29 x 22cm
Paul Housley
Mick Jagger drawing, 1996
drawing on Julian Schnabel book page,
28 x 24cm
Paul Housley
Diagnosis, 1995
Found photo with felt tip pen
19 x 24cm
Paul Housley
The Tennis Girl, 1995
Found object, paint and nails
46 x 36cm
Paul Housley
Abstract Striped found painting, 1994
Deckchair fabric on stretcher
51 x 38 x 2cm
Paul Housley
This is a Wife, 1994, 1994
Spoon, oil paint and transfer lettering on canvas
49 x 33cm
Paul Housley
Remwonk, 2012
Oil on canvas
10 x 7cm
Paul Housley
Glass Snoopy, 2012
Oil on canvas
41 x 30cm