Mary Ramsden at Pilar Corrias
Its not often you walk into a well-known West End gallery and see a room full of paintings you would like to own and might even be able to afford. Last week I stopped by Pilar Corrias Gallery on Eastcastle Street to discover a selection of exceptional contemplative abstracts by young artist Mary Ramsden. July and August exhibitions at commercial galleries can leave a lot to be desired, but this show is worth the visit even during the dreariest British “summer” in a long time.
Ranging in size from a discreet 25.5 x 20cm to a large but manageable 150 x 130 cm Ramsden’s subtle paintings prompt comparisons to the Colour Field artists of the 1940s and 50s or even Rachel Howard’s multi-layered gloss paint abstracts. In her works, Ramsden applies layers of paint to the canvas and then wipes them down using rags of her old clothes to create delicate glowing compositions. Her wiping technique makes the side edges of each canvas as much part of the final piece as the main surface and should be inspected in closer detail. Where shapes and lines are visible in the work, these have either been drawn by hand or using tape to separate the different areas of the canvas. The result is a poetic and intriguing exploration of depth, mark-making and colour which is emphasised by the well-curated groupings of the paintings on display in the gallery space.
Mary Ramsden (age 28) was born in Yorkshire, completed her BA in Fine Art at the Edinburgh College of Art and is currently a final year graduate at the Royal Academy of Arts. Her first solo show in London is on view at Pilar Corrias until August 3rd, 2012.
Mary Ramsden, installation view: Pilar Corrias Gallery, 29 June – 3 August 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias Gallery. Photo: Andy Keate
Photographs by Janina Joffe