Real Painting at Castlefield Gallery: In pictures

Polly Checkland Harding

Castlefield Gallery’s latest exhibition looks at painting in a new way – here, we’ve captured just some of the details from a modern, forward-looking show.

There are no images in Castlefield Gallery’s Real Painting exhibition. In a medium that’s traditionally associated with images, and the things they relate to, this is an unusual move. It’s an attempt, as artist and one of the exhibition’s two curators Jo McGonigal argued, to “go back to basics,” to empty painting of its traditional references. The result is an exhibition where paintings verge on becoming sculptures, in a way that invites engagement with their spatial and physical properties. Here, the canvas itself becomes the object of attention.

An attempt to “go back to basics,” to empty painting of its traditional references

Take the brilliant, semi-comic work of Turner Prize nominee Angela de la Cruz. In Mini Nothing 9 (Pink), a canvas is sloughed on the floor, crumpled and bubble-gum pink; elsewhere it’s shaped into a long, white box, seemingly dropped and buckled at one end to create Compressed 1 (White). For Hood by winner of the 2004 John Moores Painting Prize Alexis Harding, the paint becomes a dermal layer, peeled and shedding.

As with the gallery’s previous exhibitions, the works are given space to breathe, so that there’s room and time to take in their physicality – and the intricacies that we’ve tried to capture in this ‘in pictures’ feature. The shots below are mostly details from larger works; they don’t give the exhibition as a whole away. Drop by the gallery, and you’re likely to find yet another way to see Real Painting.

Wooden and painted arrow shape on a wall

Back of a circular canvas

Angela de la Cruz, Compressed 1 (White), 2010 Three

Canvas with pink paint dripping from it

Small work in high corner

Yellow t-shirt tied to a yellow scarf

Framer with canvas wrapped around it

Red metallic canvas with the reflection of a shadow

Layered wooden block

White canvas layered into texture

Images courtesy of Creative Tourist. Photos: Polly Checkland Harding

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