London – The ‘Main Hotel Partner’ to Frieze Art Fair, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill announces Painting with Light, its fourth exhibition developed in partnership with leading cultural consultancy Candlestar
Painting with Light is an exploration of the boundaries between photography and painting, through the work of five artists – Marcus Doyle, Yvonne da Rosa, Susan Derges, Brian Griffin and Tom Hunter – each of whom makes photographs that are both painterly in execution and technique and very often carry echoes and allusions to the paintings of, for example, the Renaissance or the golden age of Dutch painting.
Tom Hunter, for example, was the first artist to have a show of his photography at the National Gallery. His iconic 1997 work ‘Woman Reading a Possession Order’ is a direct reference to Vermeer’s ‘Girl Reading a Letter’. The use of light in his work is regularly compared to such illustrious painters as Millais, Vermeer and Caravaggio. As Hunter says, “if these artists had been alive today they would probably have been photographers – or filmmakers. If Caravaggio were alive today, he would be like Scorsese.” Similarly the work of Brian Griffin, one of the world’s leading portrait photographers whose Olympics portraits are currently showing at the National Portrait Gallery, has been compared to the work of the Dutch Masters and the American painter Edward Hopper as well as to contemporary filmmakers such as David Lynch. Painting with Light features Griffin’s image of Liam, a steel worker from his series on those who rebuilt St Pancras, that embraces Renaissance Painting in terms of light and pose. Griffin comments “He looks as if he belongs in the time of Brunel, but if you look carefully there are all the accoutrements of the modern worker: the safety gear, the mobile phone” Susan Derges’ approach is very different. Her camera-less works are the result of a direct relationship between natural light and the recording medium, resulting in images that are effectively painted by light – in this case by the moon itself. Marcus Doyle’s night scenes, in contrast, conjure the qualities of traditional landscape painting. The ethereal quality of light in his images is also found in Yvonne de Rosa’s work, lending her still life scenes a certain incandescence.
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The birth of photography was attended by the suggestion that the photograph could one day replace the painting. For the early pioneers of the medium, it was the photograph’s ability to precisely capture the details of a scene which was highly prized. However, since those early days, photography has come a very long way and photographers now increasingly make work that is intended first and foremost for the gallery wall.
The word ‘photography’ derives from Greek, literally meaning ‘drawing with light’. In the hands of these five artists, light itself become the ultimate creative tool.
Painting with Ligh’ opens on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 and will be available for view in the lobby of Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill until end of January 2011. All photographs are available for sale.
Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill has been the official hotel partner of Frieze Art Fair since 2008.