The New Art Gallery Walsall
Laura Lancaster (b. 1979, Hartlepool, UK) lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her paintings have been shown in solo exhibitions in the UK including at the DLI Museum, Durham (2011) and the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (2013-14).
Lancaster’s paintings take as their source and subject photographs the artist finds at flea markets and in charity shops. The artist considers this process of re-using found imagery as a form of rescue, lending contextless images new life in her works. Lancaster sees photographs that were originally taken to fix a moment in time as eventually set adrift from their original context. In this process, they gain an abstract quality, disconnected from a particular meaningful context even though they are full of visual clues and information. The intention behind the snapshots Lancaster finds has become divorced from the picture’s surviving material reality.
The three works acquired for New Art Gallery Walsall exemplify Lancaster’s expressive use of paint, with which she introduces movement into the inert material with an evident enjoyment. Her works often tease at the conventions of traditional painting, in particular portraiture. Her confident handling of paint and loose brushstrokes add up to evocative portraits which sometimes recall the work of canonical British painters such as Frank Auerbach or Lucian Freud, also represented in The New Art Gallery’s collections.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2014