David Royle :
With the imagination there is often an action/reaction character to the way it moves forward. Having made many complex paintings with a strongly urban feel I now wanted to play with chance and accident. My first blots and gestures grew into an extended series of works on paper and another series of larger canvases. Quite early on an accidental symmetry emerged and this became the running theme which I titled “Rorschach’s Garden”, after Hermann Rorschach who developed the famous symmetrical inkblot images much used in psychological character assessment tests in the 1960′s. Also I liked the conceit that, just like Rorschach’s subjects, the viewer here is completely at liberty to see what he or she wants in these works because, being improvisations, I had no specific expressive intention during their making.
The paintings are collections or “gardens” of such images. They have, for me, a sense of vegetable energy. This is taken on further in the two latest paintings in this exhibition which also involve another recurring theme in my work: being inside and looking out, often onto a built-up urban vista. Fantastic exotic plant life blazes and bursts up and across the surface interrupting the geometry of night-lit high-rise buildings. DR.
By its nature, abstract visual art should not be accountable to textual description. In contradiction, I’ll offer a few clues to the works on show.
Maps, diagrams, charts (with their legends and keys); glyphs, morphs, tropes; filmic language- wipes, fades, dissolves, jump-cuts, insertions, etc; signs, symbols and serifs of all kinds; simultaneity; 50′s hand-painted French road ads; Bad Plus, early Steve Reich, all Dizzy; modernism from FLW to Corb; Bauhaus polyculture; Matisse and Picasso, but also Bawden and Ravilious, along with Morandi, Malevich and Gris; DOS’s; virtual versus actual as our current conundrum in a mediated world.
I trained originally as a graphic designer/typographer and have never really left their peculiar disciplines of order and sequence. In 45 years of trying, my imagery has become like a personal Commedia Dell’Arte – familiar characters in established roles within a defined frame or stage. Things exist in, and travel beyond, time and space; a unique moment is fleetingly, plastically captured.
Well that’s what I hope for in the next painting … BR.