Gillian Carnegie, Prince, 2011, oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 35 1/2".

Gillian Carnegie

Galerie Gisela Capitain

Gillian Carnegie, Prince, 2011, oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 35 1/2".

How refreshing: an exhibition in which there was no need to focus on anything but the paintings on display. The artist had requested that no press release be issued. There was only a list of titles, with the year of each work and the technical details. That’s all. And so one found oneself standing in a room surrounded by paintings, left entirely to one’s own devices, without any explanation to use as a crutch. We’re not used to this—and so what started out feeling refreshing began to seem disconcertingly unfamiliar. And that’s precisely what English painter Gillian Carnegie is after; she’s attacking our habit of viewing pictures through the prism of outside explanations.

Her way of going about this could be seen in this recent exhibition in Cologne. On view was an assortment of images that were quite different from one another, both in their motifs and technical approaches.

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