Energy: new painting with verve

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Gorka Mohamed
Painting by Gorka Mohamed (see below)

Verve, vibrancy and youthful vigour - these newly emerging artists all delight in the physicality of paint and demonstrate its vitality in widely varying ways.

From raw, frantic mark-making to contained but nonetheless powerful brushwork, these on-the-up artists imbue their work with an energy that's almost palpable.


Andrew Piedilato

Andy Piedilato, new contemporary painting

New York artist Andy Piedilato's hi-energy canvases are, we predict, destined for great things.

Recurrent motifs of brick walls or fences fail to contain explosions of agressive, impasto pigment in the colours of blood, smoke and bone.

As the indistinct outlines of convulsing bodies or razor-toothed gremlins emerge from the tangle of mark-marking, it's tempting to view Piedilato's paintings as some kind of unconscious battleground in which chaos - albeit a kind of caricatured carnage - is determined to take hold.

Whatever the reading, Piedilato's recent transition from abstraction to figuration has served him well, and for sheer painterly spectacle, we'd rate him among the most promising of current American painters.


Andy Piedilato, American painter


Andrew Piedilato, current contemporary painting
images © Andy Piedilato

Gorka Mohamed

Contemporary art now: Gorka Mohamed

The work of Spanish artist Gorka Mohamed (born 1978) radiates comic exuberance, but like all burlesque also maintains a sharply critical edge.

Mohamed's cast of absurd characters (the generic figure of the artist occurs with regularity) are often constructed of, and surrounded by, the implements of art-making and spillage of its history; McCarthy-esque blockheads don 17th century ruffs or disport in surreal-lite settings.

His appropriation of key elements of the cartoon - googly eyes, exaggerated textures - seem bent on undermining the high-seriousness of art, yet many of his techniques and references pay tribute to its nobler traditions.

With rippling lines of colour, Mohamed threads together a singular, uneasy commentary on culture and its edifices.

Contemporary painting - Gorka Mohamed


Gorka Mohamed
images © Gorka Mohamed

Ian E Pines

Ian Pines: new contemporary painting

It's hard to know quite what to make of the work of Los Angeles-based Ian Pines, but his own description of his practice pretty much nails the paradox at its heart.

"Expressionistic gestures in ... improvisational fashion result(s) in a compounding of second-guesses wrought with frustration at the collapse of control."

While his drive for authenticity is indeed thrillingly palpable, it can also be a hit and miss affair. After all, if control 'collapses', results are unlikely to consistently make the grade.

Certainly, Pines' prolific output includes paintings that simply fail to coalesce, but what we'd consider the best of his work pays rare dividends. Vibrant and grippingly personal, his "over the top" impasto resonates with anxious energy. What's more, his recent graduate show (from the MFA programme at UCLA) featured large works of such startling intensity that they left most of the other exhibits reeling in their wake.

Ian Pines: new contemporary painting
Ian Pines, contemporary painters now
images © Ian Pines

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