John Hurrell – 25 October, 2019
If you want, you can try to track down in online ‘entertainment' gossip blogs the various photographs that have kickstarted the painter's desire to agitate his gorgeously streaky multicoloured sludge, but their connection with the final product—as sparked-off pre-image—usually ends up of little value. The correlation might not always be obvious.
Heroines and Heroin
2 October - 26 October 2019
A viscous mingling of Frank Auerbach, Willem de Kooning and Peter Bagge, but using photography as an impetus and never a collage, Toby Raine continues his energetic—seemingly gleeful and comic—program of expressionist (usually celebrity) portraiture. This time though, he seems more aware of the stretcher’s edges, more filling of that rectangle with abandoned swirls and splattering smears—angular physiognomies quickly drawn, dense with scraped channels rendering through an eviscerating cartoonist’s savagery. The canvases are bigger too.
If you want, you can try to track down in online ‘entertainment’ gossip blogs the various photographs that have kickstarted the painter’s desire to agitate his gorgeously streaky multicoloured sludge, but their connection with the final product—as sparked-off pre-image—usually ends up of little value. The correlation might not always be obvious.
After all, the point is the physical impact and drama: buckets of oily substance and its manipulated three-dimensional goop—a piled up relief other artists like the brilliant English illusionist Glenn Brown work at strenuously denying. What is fascinating is that Raine is an Elam, not Ilam, painter, a rarity with his atelier preoccupations. He possibly can be connected to the late (occasionally stunning portraitist) Alan Pearson, but less rhythmical, fractured, and operatic, and much more mischievous—being anti-zeitgeist. His work has a Baconesque messy exuberance but with one eye on the silver screen.
These are better ‘visage’ paintings than say the facile celebrity portraits by Lorde picturemaker, Sam McKinniss (Note Raine’s title). They are not illustrational or even (God forbid) about the subject—despite their somewhat wordy titles. You could say they are really abstractions in the Franz Kline / Pierre Soulages tradition. Mucky icky-sticky gesturalism.
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