PHILIPPA BLAIR: Dancing off score – 27 Feb-23 March, 2018
Some of Philippa Blair’s paintings coil into themselves; they are nests, labyrinths, confined by the picture frame, mysteries to be investigated from without. Others expand across the surface; marks jump forward to the viewer, from one canvas to another, resistant to constraint. Dancing off Score is dominated by paintings with the latter dynamic. In these works Blair’s gesture arises as a live rhythm from an invented score. There is an understructure, a riffing baseline that she comes and goes from. These paintings are a kind of dance.
Influenced by artists such as Wasily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Terry Winters and Albert Oehlen, Philippa Blair ‘reads’ expressive abstraction as others may read symbology. Colour, tone, mark and texture all resonate for her. They have sounds, they are her language. Her paintings are not simply abstract. She reaches into the storehouse of lived experience to generate her work. Memory and imagination fill her canvases. She approaches painting with concentrated presence – fresh each time.