Shaun McDowell

Shaun McDowell's paintings are fine examples of the unresolved nature of abstract painting.  His new acrylic on board paintings on display in this exhibition are part of a series that Shaun recently completed in his studio without the use of a nude model or oil sticks, his trademark practice in the past. McDowell has used a paintbrush for the first time in three years to create works that are jammed full of staccato, gestural marks and a palette of vibrant colour. Not having a live model in the studio has caused his works in this show to lose the areas of washed-out background colour from his earlier works, confronting the viewer with unadulterated intense colour and energetic mark making. The effect often feels violent and fraught with tension but the finished paintings are objects of utter beauty. Shaun's work was shown to critical acclaim at a group show at the Parasol Unit in 2009-2010, exhibiting alongside Cecily Brown, Katy Moran and Maaike Schoorel, and he had his second solo show at the Hannah Barry Gallery earlier this year. What is most striking about Shaun's paintings is his original and daring use of colour.  The gestural choices he makes in the abstract marks made by him on his boards only add more depth and mystery to his work.