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N E L L   N U T S F O R D
3RD - 31ST MAY 2018

In the ‘adhesion’ paintings,the utilitarian gesture of undercoating is detected at a crucial moment in its drying process, and through brushings of dry pigment, like dusting for fingerprints or hidden evidence, inconsistencies and randomness within an apparently pure surface are revealed.

The multi-coloured works take 'figure' and 'ground' and tease them away from their respective functions - figures dissolve, flatten, and slip behind their grounds; stretched thinly they become grounds themselves. Grounds disintegrate, float free as new figures, or re-establish themselves within figures. The two roles become transmutable; the relationship becomes precarious.

My work explores painting as a reverse operation. Rather than controlling materials to a determined end I set experiments and allow them to run; gesture is deputised to physical forces giving paint the freedom to perform its own act. Solidifying and deciphering paint’s fluid trace has become the focus of the work.

Paint may perform with integrity, but this is not to say with predictability. Although the work derives its logic from the opposed mechanics of gravity and viscosity, an ostensibly formal inquiry, often the outcome is highly inventive, subject to curious intricacies and aberrances.


In this show I present a group of ‘adhesion’ paintings; layered, nuanced fields of colour produced by her usual reverse painting method, and a series of multi coloured ‘hand-made’ paintings in oil, ink, gouache and pastel on paper.

Nell Nutsford

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