Avis Newman

Lisson Gallery | 27 Bell Street | London

The interesting thing about Avis Newman’s recent large works on canvas is the shift from drawing to painting. In making that move, she calls into question the idea of ’80s painting as a predominantly male, post-Conceptual return to heroic, expressive figuration exemplified by such artists as Julian Schnabel and David Salle. Newman’s work draws its look from Paleolithic cave paintings, using marks of varying thickness and texture to suggest the human form. Her canvases are large and unstretched, covering much of the gallery’s walls in a way that gives the show something of the air of an installation, an interior space within which the marks exist as impulse, thought, and sensation, as much as the site on which those marks are made public as metaphors of desire. In concert with this feeling, the various elements within individual works combine and disperse in ways that recall the fluid space

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