Ian Welsh
23 April - 17 May 2001
LONDON Main Gallery



An artist working with water as his principle subject, Ian Welsh paints within the established tradition of English landscape painting, while also admitting to the influence of oriental artists and their abstraction of nature. The new paintings in Reflections are inspired by observations of the waters of Bergen, Taransay, Simonds Yat and the Thames.

In this exhibition Welsh demonstrates his unusual position amongst contemporary artists. He uses the neglected medium of lacquer, with its possibilities of lamination and transparency, to pursue the complexities of depicting water and surface. He uses modern, state of the art, industrial lacquers, painted onto polished aluminium panels, into which he introduces granular powders.

The effects in the resulting images blur our perception of reality and illusion, setting the physical nature of the surfaces against the transparent films that lie below. The technique allows him "to make sense of the natural environment: the impact of climate, the effect of light and temperature, the movement of sky and the effect of gravity without the constraints of horizon and the picturesque view" (Professor Martin Kemp, Nature magazine).

These are extraordinary paintings.

An illustrated brochure accompanies the exhibition, with an introduction by Andrew Lambirth.