The Contemporary Art Society has acquired two unique works by painter Simon Ling for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales. Ling creates mesmerising works that centre on urban and rural landscapes. In both settings he depicts small areas of architecture or landscape, often produced on a monumental size so that a dichotomy emerges between scale and subject. In order to avoid overlaying his works with any suggestion of narrative, Ling does not give his paintings descriptive or allusive titles.
Living and working in London, a distinctive method of Ling’s is that he practices en plain air painting. This method permeates both works Untitled (2018) and Untitled (2018). The natural elements of the trunks are magnified and the depth of the bark captures the viewer with an exquisite intensity. Continuing to work with large scale, both works are 200cm x 150cm. The hints of abstraction throughout in the fluorescent orange and lime greens contrast with the darker muted hues of greys and browns, evoking curiosity and wonder. In Untitled (2018), Ling introduces a counterpoint to more romantic visions of landscape with intense depictions of the forest floor and rotting log stacks. Close-cropped treatment of a tumbled woodpile gives each craggy log a powerful presence, vividly translating the sensation of touch through that of sight.
Simon Ling’s work has been of particular interest for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales, particularly in terms of his importance to contemporary painting and the relationship between his work and the wider tradition of the art of the Welsh landscape. Ling grew up in Pembrokeshire and retains a studio on the Welsh border; this acquisition adds to the ongoing conversation within the museum collection relating to representation, space and locality.
Simon Ling (b.1968 Pembrokeshire, Wales) lives and works in London. Recent solo shows include Greengrassi, London (2020); Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2019); and Greengrassi, London (2017). Recent Group shows include Camden Arts Centre, London (2020); The Lewinsky gallery, Plymouth (2020); and Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong (2019). Ling studied at Chelsea college of Art & Design and the Slade School of Art. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists.