Mark Thompson: New Paintings
Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce New Paintings, an exhibition of new work by Mark Thompson. This will be Mark’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery, and opens with an artist reception on June 23 from 6–8pm. The exhibition continues until July 16. Music at the opening reception will be provided by Boyd Chubbs.
“My primary drive as an artist is to try to make sense of my place in the world,” writes Mark. “Through the caprices and inconsistencies of memory, I hope to access a collective memory of place. I do not seek to illustrate a particular place in point of fact, but rather develop and ultimately ‘make’ a version of the world seen through the isolated lens of personal experience. The paintings are works of memory. This acts as a filter through which to retain only that which becomes important. The inevitable mix of my own history and experience fills in the gaps. The final image is therefore a remnant, the world distilled.”
“My recent paintings are made through an indirect process, the image and surface built up through successive layers of glazing and scumbling. These techniques are steeped in the history and tradition of painting, but allow me great emotional and physical freedom. Each layer imbues a tension, a creative destruction, in which chance and a degree of brinkmanship are invited into the process. The paintings carry a technical narrative – a history of paint – that is all their own. They are built from time, their surfaces becoming a record of every flawed decision made right.”
“The creative heroes that have influenced me over the years are varied and disparate, but the direct references come mostly from the fields of painting and photography. I am drawn to the collodion landscape photographs of Sally Mann, and the patient, time revealing images of Thomas Joshua Cooper and Hiroshi Sugimoto. The process of making is so apparent in the dedicated craft of each artist, yet the work gently transcends process and picks away at how we decode memories of place. My love of and belief in the practice of painting compel a broad interest in its history. My own work draws from the luminous surfaces of Vermeer to the destructive physicality of Nicola Samori and Adrian Ghenie, from the compositional ingenuity of Vincent Desiderio to the alchemical expansiveness of Anselm Kiefer. It is also impossible for me to talk about landscape painting without reference to Corot and the Barbizon School, whose search for light in amongst the three dimensionality of things engaged with both an unflinching reality, and a direct feel for the stuff of paint.”
Born in the Fenlands of Eastern England (1972), Mark went on to study painting at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. His early memories of the land informed his studies, and he continues to explore the inextricable link between landscape and memory in his current body of work. After completing his degree in 1997, he won first the Duveen and then the Rootstein Hopkins travel scholarships, which took him to Iceland, Norway and Finland. Mark’s experiences in these harsh Nordic landscapes inspired his first solo exhibition at the Proud Galleries in London (1999). Since that first show, Mark has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including the Gilchrist Fisher Landscape Painting Award and the Villiers David Award.
Mark’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Europe and America – notably with solo shows at the M. K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Art in Lithuania, the Hordaland International Art Gallery in Norway, and the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, USA. His work is represented in public and private collections, including the Government Art Collection of Great Britain and Microsoft collections. In December 2019 he participated in the Pouch Cove Foundation residency, an experience that he cites as changing the course of his life. Mark now lives and works in Newfoundland.