9 April – 1 June 2003
Alison Turnbull is working on a series of paintings that takes as its starting point architectural drawings for hospitals. A major group of the paintings will be shown for the first time at Matt’s Gallery from April to June 2003.
For the past four years Alison Turnbull has used the abstract language of plan, section and elevation of architectural drawings to generate imagery. The drawings act as blueprints for the paintings; their essential neutrality as objects is transformed by colour and the very specific physical activities of tracing, layering and abrading that activate the painted surface.
More recently, she has been working with ‘found’ architectural drawings of hospitals in different parts of the world and from different periods. Hospitals such as the Asklepeia or ‘dream hospital’ of ancient Greece, a 19th century cancer hospital in New York and a modern military hospital outside Manila in the Philippines. The paintings are informed by the institutional colour schemes found in hospitals, by the ‘clinical’ colours of laboratories, as well as the more unnameable ones of disease, and by art and artefacts related to the period or the site where each hospital is located.
Alison Turnbull’s working process has been described as ‘painstaking’, and is meticulous and time-consuming. Some of the Hospital paintings draw directly on the language of architectural plans, and in others, information is refined and abstracted from the source material. The intensity of surface detail varies from canvas to canvas; from Hospital, Kaedi, an intricate pencil drawing on a grey/ blue ground, to the ‘fleshy’ broad areas of oil paint in Hospital, Calcutta (Eden). This becomes most apparent on a close reading of the work when the emblematic or graphic aspect of each painting is superseded by its physical characteristics as a painted object.
This is Alison Turnbull’s first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery.
Further exhibitions at Matt’s Gallery
In the shop
PSYCHE Or, the butterfly – an expanded field guide, 2018
Vitis vinifera L., 2008
Navigating Moby Dick, 2019
Colour Chart ATX2012 (Apple Varieties), 2012
Peppered Moth Print, 2008
£720.00 (1 left)