Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby Featherblend » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:46 pm

In Heavy Bouquet a chequered figure is caught walking mid stride into a hazy surface surrounded by tadpoles. Clouds of chalky paint blend into each other. Yellow into green, green into blue, blue into pink to make up the flat surface which the figure and tadpole motifs float on top. It is clear we have arrived in the middle of something. The cowboy hat wearing figure peers over to his right in anticipation. Perhaps he has just left the saloon to cross the street in the middle of a gunfight. There is no explanation but a lot of nostalgic suggestion in Mosley's large scale canvases. Unidentified historic characters wearing old fashioned attire are either pipe smoking, frequenting a bar or frozen in the middle of an elegant dance. The painterly backgrounds and figures are accompanied by clusters of organic forms which sometimes randomly encroach in the pictures or form a sort of layer of cacti like undergrowth or more restless life forms.

Mosley's versatile brushwork is matched by his varied paint application. While some canvases contain thick globlets of paint and thick brush marks, others are far more saturated and thinly applied. And I like the way he treats the surfaces independently. Skin, hair and clothing are not handled in the same or conventional way. Instead each element has its own dynamic and series of decorative brushstrokes to differentiate it. Mosley has a preoccupation of painting figures from behind or the profile. Perhaps this is because he previously spent time working as a warden in the National Gallery and he was used to observing visitors engrossed in paintings from this position. It may also be a counter position to many of the canonical paintings in the National Gallery which typically present portraits from a full frontal viewpoint but I think Mosley deliberately wants to make us aware that we are observers, which we are amongst an audience. This gives an extra dimension of distance, alienation and nostalgia to Mosley's rogue characters. And it also comes at a significant time for viewing art where an increase in the consumption of art since 2000 has had its support slashed in a series of arts cuts by the government.

In Cave Inn two dancers appear to perform on stage in front of an audience until we notice the female figure has no head. Instead she has a black void surrounding her upper torso which simultaneously looks like a birds eye view of an opened umbrella, the eye socket of a giant skull, a cavernous void of a deep cave (as the title may suggest), or part of a giant leaf shape which contains the dancers.

Matthew Collings has commented that Mosley's; " paintings look listless and pointless. He should be shot." And "The problem is the laziness of the decisions in the creating of the paintings. Colours pointless contrasts not amounting to anything more than the sum of the different parts. The aim of the work appears to be entirely mannerist, imitating children's book illustrations, fantasies, etc" but I think it is clearly evident that Mosley has worked these paintings and taken them through many stages of invention. Cave Inn like many of Mosley's large canvases has had a lot of overpainting and re working happen to it. You can still see some of the disregarded organic forms under the pale yellow paint and a florescent rosy pink outline of the main figure bleeds through and peeks out of the corners of the deep purple, blue and green gridded body of the performer. Perhaps aspects of these paintings do derive from published sources but they seem to work as starting points which allow for Mosley's imagination and paint handling to create new surreal characters and scenerios. Collings comments may come from a wide reaching knowledge and experience but somebody producing paintings as interesting as these should be respected. It is immature to suggest he should be shot as I think Mosley's work contains fantastically imaginative shape, colour and interpretation of form which will become even more exciting.

Mosley's painting resists a singular interpretation or perception. They play with texture, shapes and angles. They jump from the abstract to the figurative. They take history to zero gravity and become suggestive and ambiguous in order not to let the viewer stay still but keep you flittering in and out, back and forth between the surface and any trace of a story. They are the perfect manifestation of an era of distraction and low attention spans and yet the way they encapsulate so many elements and beautiful colours has us standing still.

For full review: http://featherblend-grandarttours.blogspot.com/
Join the debate: Please see separate post for transcript...
Last edited by Featherblend on Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:33 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby CAP » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:46 pm

Nice work Feath. Welcome.

Incidentally, links for the illustrations: - Heavy Bouquet (whole) and detail, and Cave Inn (whole) and detail. ;)
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby jasperjoffe » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:01 am

Hi Feather, do post your reviews here and on your blog!
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby Featherblend » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:03 am

Thanks. And thanks for the help with the pics. Please feel free to have a look at the debate with Matthew Collings & co on Facebook. Ta
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby Jim » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:18 am

I love a good scrap but am not able to find the Collings/Mosley drubbing, the link just leads me to a Facebook homepage... is it just me?

Looking at his Alison Jacques page I'd say i prefer Mosley's older stuff, as they say. maybe he was rushing to get a load of work done for his show? I'd say the people he paints owe a bit to Peter Doig.
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby Featherblend » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:36 am

Hi Sorry it may be that you have to befriend Matthew Collings on Facebook to see it - I have used what I feel to be the main points he said in my blog at the end though. I have to say I am not an art critic or professional or anything but I just like an opinion to be explained and that is what I was trying to get from Collings. I thought the dialogue from that might relate to my blog and the paintings (Apart from the part I got pissed off with someone). My blog is amateur but really just a record of shows I see and a way to show good images to people if they wanna see. Ta
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby CAP » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:56 pm

I think you actually have to know Matt for him to befriend you on FB - or at least that's what it says there.

As for Mosley - here's another good'un from the Jacques site (The Rest of His Natural Life 210 X 190 cm 2011).

Incidentally, to link to gallery JPGs you just right click on the image, scroll down to properties > under properties find the JPG's URL > copy and paste into your WWR text. Taking just the JPG's URL rather than the web page on which it appears is much quicker and cleaner.

Links in WWR are easy - select text > press URL button on tool bar above text box > place cursor after the opening part - [url(here) > add = > [url= > paste URL.

There used to be a couple of discussion threads on Mosley on London Painting, but it's archive got deleted... I agree with Jim I don't think this show is quite as strong as the last one. :roll:
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Re: Ryan Mosley @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Postby Featherblend » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:38 am

I have copy and pasted a transcript of that debate on a separate post.
I can see similarities with Mosley and Doig - I like Doig too, unfortunately not seen that many of his works in the flesh.

Thanks : )
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