New works by three outstanding early-career painters brought about by the biennial Jerwood Painting Fellowships. The collection of works seen in this group exhibition for the first time vary in scale from small canvasses to large-scale works and are the product of three diverse and individual voices.
Francesca Bloomfield’s works take limousine interiors, tagliatelle and human hair as the basis for experimentation with colour systems and texture. She utilises chalky colour, pattern and dramatic changes in scale to explore subjects of relics and notions of authentic communication. Text is incorporated into her paintings for the first time adding a narrative dimension and the work is accompanied by a publication.
Archie Franks’ works manipulate familiar motifs from the art historical past and contemporary life mixing elevated and commonplace subject matter. The paintings and watercolours are dreamlike and give form to intangible and allusive sensations with a haunting, gothic and atmospheric feel. Archie interrogates imagery to yield further complexity and this body of work indicates an expanded repertoire of imagery and exploration of paint handling, format and scale.
Dale Lewis’s large-scale works are humorous and unsettling, and draw upon years of personal memories and associations. He paints from observation, from situations he has witnessed or imagined, and sometimes those in which he has been directly involved. Tableaux of bodies dining in restaurants, strolling along boulevards, sunbathing or convulsing in orgies are composed along classical lines. These often take pictorial cues from mediaeval panel paintings or Renaissance masterpieces. His subject matter, the banal and under-represented aspects of life, is situated in raw urban environments executed with vigour and energy. The works touch on the tragic, the dramatic, the funny, the unnerving and the stupid. Dale’s work utilises composition to distribute energy through the figures and across the paintings, alongside an acute observation of the relationships between the figures and their surroundings.
The three artists were selected from over 400 applications through an open call to UK-based painters within five years of establishing their practice. Chosen to undertake a year-long mentorship, each was paired with an eminent UK painter, Phoebe Unwin, Jane Harris and Dan Coombs respectively, and received support and advice from the Jerwood Visual Arts team. In this third edition of the Fellowships, each artist received a £10,000 bursary to support the making of new work for this exhibition. The Jerwood Painting Fellowships were established in 2010 to provide critical support for exceptional painters embarking on their professional careers. Alumni include Anthony Faroux, Clare Mitten, Cara Nahaul, Susan Sluglett, Sophia Starling and Corinna Till mentored by Paul Bonaventura, Stephen Farthing RA, Marcus Harvey, Chantal Joffe, Mali Morris RA and Fabian Peake.