William Neal : Recent Paintings

17 May - 29 June 2014

Work from his two current strands - Lyrical Abstraction and Iridescent Passages


Notes on the two themes from his website:

Lyrical Abstraction
The title Lyrical Abstraction has such a beautiful resonance, I wish I had thought of that one. As it is, I find myself after over 50 years of painting, sharing and pursuing a path along an abstract journey. It's not my intention here to explain or get involved in all manner of dogma or philosophy that surrounds abstract art. How painfully boring. This has no place of real importance in my life. As a visual artist my delight of painting and expressing the possibilites within the paint itself is enough. Its a complete state of being. As a child I remember being greatly moved and comforted by colour and sound. When I am in the studio now I relate to this within my paintings.  To become involved with the states of random gesture along with inherent balance of compostion doesn't just happen. My dear friend and mentor the late Stefan Knapp said this to me as we worked in his studio. "The mark of a great painting Willy, is when it still works upside down." I love the humour, its resonance, the enticement toward the truth of that statement. It has a profound relevance in reality. The possibility of finding that truth exists within the term Lyrical Abstraction.


Iridescent Passages
My current work explores a unique “enamellist approach” to painting which has been developed over the past year.  I believe these new works to be groundbreaking within the visual arts. My guiding principle is that the observer will always find something new in the works each day, according to the natural or artificial light source. The iridescent passages change to an even richer glow when spotlit at night and the effect is further enhanced depending on the position of the viewer at any given time. I do intend to create an inner tranquillity within my compositions, though I make no attempt toward a figurative theme. Some works have upwards of 50 glazes, each bonded with clear gel medium. The approach is very similar to “Flux” in enamel, imparting a gloss sheen at each stage. The final painting has a smooth surface similar to an enamel panel and this is intentional. No matter what light source these paintings are presented with the colours will change in a subtle way due to the “deep mix” of opal and iridescent pigments.


Gallery Talk

Talking Paintings...of an iridescent kind

A talk by William Neal
Saturday 21st June 2-00pm
Free admission

Based on his current exhibition of Iridescent Passages and Lyrical Abstraction at the Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse.

Where have they come from? What are they saying ? Where are they going? An intriguing journey of links within rock album art, music and enamelling, plus the strong desire to see these paintings have a voice within the visual arts.