Current Events

Once Removed

17 May – 5 July 2017




Gideon Rubin asks what it means to be a contemporary painter by using anonymous photographs, often from the turn of the century. He then selects characters and scenes which he conveys onto canvas or linen. Through the use of broad brushstrokes and a muted palette, the figures and landscapes are often abstracted, details are effaced and scenes move in and out of the picture plane. The surfaces of the paintings reveal strata of previous paintings or are scraped back to reveal the canvas beneath. In other instances, Rubin leaves entire areas of canvas untouched so that they become integral parts of the work whilst drawing attention to the paintings support. Embedded within layers of paint or receding from view, it is as if his selected characters are entrenched in multiple histories or are unrecoverable in the here and now. And as such, the artist asks what it means to paint and to transplant people and objects into his selected medium. In bringing paintings representational possibilities and its self-reflective qualities within reach of each other, Gideon Rubin asks the viewer to consider the act of painting and its legacy.

“Though firmly ensconced in the 21st century, Gideon Rubin is unquestionably a painter of history. His is a complex and multivalent history, one that draws in equal measure on the past and the present, the known and the unknowable, the personal and the universal. It is shaped by chance, by place, by family, by beauty, by the masters who came before; formed by his childhood in Israel, global travels, studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Slade School in London, the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Prado, and the pages of the Daily Mail and Hello! magazine.”
Painting History by Sarah Suzuki


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