Painter Paul Winstanley Captures Empty Artists' Studios on Canvas
British artist Paul Winstanley's "Art School" paintings, now on view at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in Manhattan, take their inspiration from his own photographs of art-student studios left empty for the summer months.
Though imitative of photographs, these delicately realist works are full of painterly depth and texture. Plush grays and downy whites lend the scenes a soft, comfortable, well-worn feeling; the studios are empty and bare, monastic even, but never austere. Signs of craft and toil mark the floors, walls, tables, and chairs. In one piece, a bright orange surface—wall or canvas?—is so close it is almost menacing, an explosion of energy cutting off our view of the serene studio beyond.This tight cropping obscures depth and angles: Floors bleed into walls, art bleeds into floors, walls bleed into windows. Hazy summer light floods through grand windows and over partial walls. The spaces appear ethereal and dreamlike, ideal for thinking, imagining, and creating—and hard to leave behind, even for summer.
Through July 19 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 534 West 24th Street, New York, Text by Alexa Lawrence