Philip Barlow: Still Motion
From November 8 to November 30, 2017, Everard Read, Cape Town will present Still Motion, a solo exhibition of recent work by South African artist Phillip Barlow.
Working in the tradition of landscape painting, the artist creates abstract oil-on-linen paintings that give the illusion of blurry, out-of-focus photographs. His landscapes are often figurative and depicting city life, evoking both a familiarity and strangeness. Using this blurred effect, Barlow leaves much to the imagination of the viewer, hinting at forms and shapes and using the play of light and shadow to explore the line between the physical and the spiritual. Barlow explains, “Although I work within a long tradition of landscape painting, my depiction of the ‘seen’ landscape is simply a vehicle through which I navigate the territory of another nature. A landscape less ordinary; where the line between the physical and the spiritual realm has seemingly been removed. However, these scenarios are not intended to be of a surreal nature. Hopefully, they will seem curiously familiar and convincingly real. The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them. Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.”
Phillip Barlow was born 1968 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. At the beginning of his career, he specialized in painting large murals in South Africa and abroad. After refining his ability to translate scale and openness in his murals, he began to explore a unique contemporary style using oils on canvas. Barlow is fascinated by light and its effect on different surfaces, especially the abstraction of forms often generated by both natural and artificial lighting. Although he hints at forms and shapes in his work, not all the information is given, therefore allowing the viewer an avenue to create their own stories and meanings.
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