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Harry Pye at Sartorial Contemporary Art London, Getting Better

From:     Joffe
Category: Art
Date:     25 March 2009
Time:     08:15 AM


I showed the card of this to someone and he told me that it looked like South Park, and kept saying South Park paintings this 
south park paintings that, which made me think an otherwise seemingly intelligent person was very stupid, because my friend 
Harry Pye is able to do two things most people can't do in paintings, 1: tell a story with feeling, and 2: compose excellent colours 
and shapes. Most of the painting are done with one other person, and the simple shapes respond well to being next to more 
realistic or expressionistic areas. It is very effective way of getting contrast into them.

The Sartorial Contemporary Art Gallery was packed all night, a testament to Harry's fingers having been in many pies and to the 
affection he inspires. The big paintings I found less satisfying that I was expecting, large areas of cheap paint make them 
muralish and the compositions weren't as exciting as on the smaller scale ones. The best of the biggies was the chess players 
where the big undetailed heads zinged against a finicky miro in the background and illusionistic chess pieces in the fore. Pye 
will get better at painting big if he does more and uses better paints.

The selection of smaller paintings in the basement gallery was excellent and well hung. There were lots of funny stories and 
Pye's  solipistic protagonist will one day perhaps be as iconic as that kid on South Park, stand out was a painting of Pye on the 
cover of Modern painters, I also enjoyed a double image of Pye and his Gottelier collaboration, perhaps one day we will see 
him becoming even more modernistic or cubistic or futuristic, and the narratives will keep their humour as he probes further into 
pictorial space.  For now he is better painter (user of colour, form, story) than the vast majority of ticklers and ass lickers of the 
London art scene. He will endure.

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