FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London



Fred [London] Ltd is delighted to announce
Matthew Usmar Lauder: New Paintings

Private View: 10 January 2007
Hours: 18:30 – 20:30

Exhibition: 11.1.07 – 18.2.07
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday
12:00 – 18:00 or by appointment
Fred [London] Ltd, 45 Vyner St., London E2 9DQ

Matthew Usmar Lauder: New Paintings

Matthew Usmar Lauder makes paintings loosely based upon found and collected photographic imagery. However, his real fascination lies with the purely painterly process of reducing his chosen images to an elegant minimum of information, using a variety of different pallets and a range of different marks.

Some of these combinations of colour and mark are more readily identifiable
with the language of photography than others. For example, in his black palette paintings his use of paint is reduced to such an extent that one is
reminded of an image emerging from the chemicals in a photo developer’s tray: oxidised, solarised or silver gelatin in feel, lightened edges only hint at
forms seen amongst an inky darkness.

Within other shades images emerge more readily to the viewer, but these works also are intensely atmospheric. His bold blue and purple colour ground paintings, with images drawn over in swift accurate brush marks of deep brown and black achieve a powerful juxtaposition between line and ground, pulling against each other like complimentary colours of just the right temperature and tone.

A further mark making technique is the loaded brush dragged along leaving
heavy deposits from which emerge landscapes and figures, built up by layer
upon layer of greenish, taupe paint. Here photography also plays a role,
but in this instance by utilising the idea of photographic history, using
layers of focus to evoke memory, or memories only half remembered.

With the atmospheric in these paintings established by the painterly brush strokes, the subject matter adds to a feeling of half constructed narratives, giving the viewer a slight sense of unease. The people and places seem poised for an event or frozen in time, a moment captured and fading on the canvas. A group of these paintings gathered on the wall is similar to stumbling across an anonymous family photo album: the viewer tries to make sense of people and landscapes that have been collected and kept for their sentimental value. Certain images — a child in a garden, a dog or a view of a park — are images repeated in every family album. Other images, like a half open window, are haunting and ominous, withholding their significance. From the familiar to the unknown the viewer begins to create the stories that hold these images together.

The real triumph of Lauder’s recent works is the combination of all of these subjects, painterly voices, marks, colours and techniques edited and juxtaposed around the gallery walls. Tableaux, landscapes and portraits meld together and begin to describe fictitious and half remembered narratives that clearly show that the language of photography can be eloquently employed in paint to great effect.



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