Review James Dignan ODT Art Seen 13 April 2017
‘‘Miscellanea’’, Kirsty Warman and Jane Shriffer (The Artist’s Room)
A joint exhibition by Kirsty Warman and Jane Shriffer is under way at The Artist's Room. The two sets of works complement each other well.
Warman's paintings are figurative, but the ghost of abstraction hides within her images. In her explorations of identity, she presents close-up portraits against suffused backgrounds. The figures appear to hide their true identities in arrays of constructed lines which form deliberately distracting details.
These are hints of the sitters' personalities, but we are forced to see what the subjects want us to see, mere masks. In the era of ``alternative facts'' we are presented with a false front, but one with clues in the details, with all the implications that has for attempts to pierce the rhetoric and discover the truth within.
Shriffer's paintings, in contrast, are deeply abstract. It is the mark-making which is the important focus of the works. Colour is instinctively added in thickly applied paint, the marks of brush and palette knife clearly visible as intrinsic features of the work.
The pale backdrops of Warman's portraits find their complement in Shriffer's deep glassy blues and greens. Though the works are purely abstract, the eye attempts to discern familiar landforms and features in the attractive, heavily worked surfaces.