Gabriel Hartley’s paintings strike the viewer with immediacy and vigour. Even though the paintings are heavily worked, they avoid incertitude. The paint is scraped, scored, cut and allowed to congeal, but the use of carefully applied spray paint helps to mask and flatten the surface, while paradoxically, highlighting the blemishes. The spray paint acts as both a concealer and an enhancer. The show’s title «Slap» draws on this dichotomy: you can think of a slap in your face, but also of the British expression «to put some slap on», meaning the use of makeup. Light is a consistent subject matter in Hartley’s paintings. From references to the evanescent radiance of Turner or Monet to the digital glow of computer generated imagery, a history of light effects seems to be interwoven in all of the paintings. This is extended into his other practices.
Hartley has shown his work in a number of institutions and galleries including Studio Leigh, London, Foxy Production, New York, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Rod Barton, London, and the Moving Museum, London, among others.
Courtesy of Praz-Delavallade