I never had heard of Fiona Rae until i purchased the excellent Voorwerk box published by Witte de With in which there was a contribution by Fiona Rae. Rae ( born in Hong Kong) added to this Voorwerk box a small unique painting , making this box one of the most sought after art publications from the last 30 years. These boxes were published in an edition of only 500 copies by Witte de With in the very beginning of its existence. Chris Dercon was the responsible curator, who later would become the director of the Boijmans van Beuningen. An article on Blouin triggered this blog on Rae since an exhibition in Lugano was recently opened. Here follows the Blouin artice and of course for the unique Fiona Rae painting visit this link at www.ftn-books.com:
use the code: fionaftn and receive a USD 95.00 discount on this purchase.
valid until the 31st of december/ only 1 work available.
Buchmann gallery in Switzerland presents British painter Fiona Rae’s paintings for the first time in Buchhmann Lugano.
The paintings featured in the exhibition are part of the most recent works by the British artist. The works begun in 2014 and are comprised of a number of charcoal drawings. Initially, the series started out as grayscale works and relied upon its fluidic flow of the brush in a calligraphic style, completely omitting the colors. The largest of the painting, thus, is limited to a size which she can completely control from a single standpoint; and can through her brush freely to cover the entire canvas with a single brush stroke. It’s the magic of the art of calligraphy that makes the canvas as well as the drawings free flowing but with an intense precision and even discipline.
The large work upon canvas, the painting named “Figure 2a” introduces color on the foreground upon a grayscale backdrop. This approach literally highlights the figure in contrast with the backdrop and creates a new concentration and dynamism in the constellation of figure and ground, surface and line. This approach has been further explored through her smaller drawings and paintings on paper as well, like the paintings “Figment 2u,” “Figment 3b” and “Figment 3c.” For the title of her painting, Rae uses a taxonomic system: Figure 1a, Figure 1b, etc. In this way, she creates a distance between the painting and the title, enabling the viewer to concentrate on contemplating the pure painting. Still, Fiona Rae’s signature remains clearly recognizable in these new works, evidence of the many visual codes and tropes she has developed and made her own over the years.
These new paintings make clear what Fiona Rae means when she says: “I see these paintings as suggesting the presence of a figure, whilst simultaneously insisting on its absence; the paintings remain abstract. I want the urgency of paint marks and gestures made only by the hand; the need to make a mark that goes back thousands of years.”
The exhibition is on view through November 25, 2017 at Buchmann Gallery, Buchmann Lugano Via della Posta no. 2, CH-6900 Lugano.