Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Painting Rules at The Whitechapel

I saw the new Whitechapel shows Raoul De Keyser and Edge of the Real a couple of weeks ago and was quite dismissive about Raoul. I just thought that his paintings were boring abstracts. This weekend I went back and saw the show again and... I have to admit that I really liked it. It is quiet and reflective and the canvases are refreshingly distressed. The colours are quite beautiful, layered to create chalky backgrounds with semi abstract motifs, quite a few of which are flowers and leaves. I read in the gallery leaflet that he is rated highly by Luc Tuymans and I can really see the connection, that quiet, intense Belgian thing. In the bookshop there is a beautiful book with Tuymans and De Keyser juxtaposed which I would love to own but I couldn't quite justify the high cost. The other show Edge of the Real occupies less than half of the upstairs gallery and is a survey of new British painting. The first time I went I preferred this, the second time I wasn't so sure. The new circular Gary Hume is really horrible and David Rayson's contribution is not the best thing I have seen of his. The highlights are Artlab's intriguing Eight Part Cluster Type, Vicken Parson's quiet, little paintings of corridors and corners (which I think I have seen before at Tate St. Ives) and Michael Raedecker's beautiful stitched painting of a little house with a coloured lighting grid above it (I wonder if this is on its way to The Saatchi Gallery)
I think that overall it is one of The Whitechapel's best shows for a while and of course there is a great cafe and the fab new Artwords bookshop to check out (where you can buy the latest Arty - The books Issue). So well worth a visit

Come On, Play It Again Number 4 - Raoul de Keyser - 2001

1 comment:

tony said...

Dear Cathy, I was trolling through your blog at all more or less on the same plateau of appreciation when suddenly up pops a de Keyser image & for me it was as though I'd shifted to another level altogether. He really is an extraordinary painter & I thankyou for this image.