“Painting on paper is more impulsive than painting on canvas...I found that the directness of the works on paper led to randomness and virtuosity.” -Gerhard Richter
Cob Gallery is proud to present its first online group exhibition of 16 UK based artists.
Paintings On, And With Paper, celebrates a range of approaches to the application of paint specifically on the material of paper.
Included in the exhibition is an extensive array of mediums, styles and scales, yet all the works are united by their paper base. Collage, acrylic, gouache, crayon, spray paint, oil pastel, oil bar, watercolour, crayon, flashe, chalk pastel and ink, feature as a means to explore the immediacy and versatility of paper as the substrate to a finished work of art. The exhibition brings together a range of artists, many of whom working with or on paper is their central practice, and some who are known for their painting on canvas, but in a time where the ‘work on paper’ appears to have been given new status.
Traditionally, works on paper are valued for their spontaneity and directness, with the material of paper the first point of contact for the artistic idea, and often as a sketch. The physical properties of paper - lightweight and malleable - lends to the artist the ability to record information quickly and easily. Often, works on paper possess documentary value - the potential for recording a significant event, or sketches have a relationship to a finalised painting on canvas.
However, Paintings On, And With Paper celebrates these works as a finished product, showcasing the painting on paper as counter to the grandeur or grand act of painting on canvas and defined away from the tradition of drawing. By comparing the gamut of processes in the creation of these works. the exhibition hopes to highlight them as works of art in their own right.
It goes without saying, that the rise in appearance of the work on paper of late, can be attributed to a retreat to the studio. It is arguable that works of this nature have a newfound appeal in what emerges as a type of Le rappel a l’ordre (described by Jean Cocteau in the 1920s in relation to changes in preoccupations of the avant-garde artists - as some embraced the tropes of Classicism in their work in response to, and following the catastrophic impact of WWI). Therefore, some of these works, are a permanent record of time - restricted movement and ad-hoc, temporary, domestic studio surroundings that the artists find themselves in - testament to artistic production in a moment of the temporary closure of the public gallery space. As such, artists appear almost unified in a return to working on an accessible, most simple, most portable and arguably, most ancient of materials. For some, the works take on almost confessional purpose - and distill an indescribably intimate aspect of the creative process. Moreover, creating works in this way, reclaims a dignity and private joy of seeing and imagining, amid a culture obsessed with looking in public.
Across the exhibition is the suggestion that paper does not deserve the throwaway status it so often carries, and that working on this material is not necessarily a rehearsal room, and it is in fact a beautiful, and necessary conduit to achieve deep intimacy combined with vibrant immediacy, allowing for great experiment in visual language when incorporated with the act painting.
To coincide with the exhibition, Cob Gallery are pleased to announce the release of new monoprint editions by Georgia Kemball - a multi media artist and jewellery designer, alongside new etching editions by Plum Cloutman.