Friday, November 27, 2009

Gimpe Fills | Hannah Maybank

" In my beginning is my end…….In my end is my beginning." T.S.Eliot East Coker Hannah Maybank is well-known for pushing the boundaries of painting as a two-dimensional discipline through her transformation of the flat painterly surface into one that ripples, splinters, overlaps, and protrudes. In this new body of work she combines the three-dimensionality of her sculptural surfaces with the conventions of historical landscape painting and illusory perspective. It has long been suggested that if a painting is created in such a way as to draw attention to its own method of construction, the visible method of creation undermines the success of illusory representation. The material presence of paint and its method of application creates tension between the painting's own reality and the representational scene depicted on its surface. Calling attention to their own material fragmentation, Maybank's works deny the possibility of painterly deception. However in new works such as The Invitation and Mirrored Oaks, she has turned to the illusory possibilities of painting. Pathways lead our eyes from the foreground of the painting, through clusters of trees towards a horizon. Embracing the conventions of the landscape genre, Maybank finds herself in a better position to rupture its pretence. Maybank's paintings have an otherworldly quality about them, employing recurring motifs such as trees and flowers.  The works begin as a series of fluid, almost calligraphic ink drawings. The tree silhouettes can be found repeated and resized throughout Maybank's canvases to create divisions and protrusions across the monochromatic field. This repetition de-familiarises consensual conceptions of the landscape while re-affirming her longstanding relationship with the cycles within life, echoing the processes of life, growth and decay as well as the life cycle of the painting. These paintings offer a position where certain information is sought and given slowly; through content, composition and process, paintings grow and die, are built up and then fall apart. They are an invitation into an illusion, an invitation into their making and an invitation into the cycle of things. Hannah Maybank was born in Stafford in 1974 and graduated from the Royal College of Art MA Painting course in 1999. This is Hannah Maybank's third solo exhibition at Gimpel Fils. This year her work has been exhibited at ArtSway's New Forest Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. In 2008, Maybank had a major solo show at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, and was artist in residence at ArtSway in the New Forest, Hampshire in the winter of 2007. Her residency at ArtSway culminated in a solo show there in spring 2008. She lives and works in London.