Painting Problems by Adrian Hobbs


Oil on shaped MDF panel

Perhaps the most binding attraction I have to the practice of painting is how successfully it holds a vast range of implicit contradictions, stuff like surface/space, abstraction/representation, inclusion/negation, stillness/motion, etc. Their presence creates tensions that are ultimately generative, and despite the popular tendency to regard contradiction as a characteristic flaw, in art, I understand it’s what principally fuels its dynamism and its perpetual creation of the new. In painting in particular it is impossible to avoid these problematic dichotomies, and my work titled Painting Problems illustrates their dynamic coexistence, one that informs and extends each and isn’t only an assumed or unrecognised aspect of the work itself. For instance the frame (or edge) is a dynamic, constantly moving element in it’s function to capture and hold the subject while defining the space in which it is presented. The background too, perhaps the most assumed element of any visual work (and I extend this to include the actual physical space in which the work is presented), is an evolving and expanded field that is hugely essential to the work itself. Then too is the multivalent nature of the singular – the blue box on the top right that punctuates the short distance between the white stripe and the frame could also double as a seascape. These are just a few of the implicit problems/positions that painting contends with and that are seen explicitly presented here in this work.

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