Into Painting: Brendan Stuart Burns

David Alston
Publication Date: 
Friday, December 7, 2007
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A small, isolated beach in Pembrokeshire is the almost exclusive subject of the paintings of Brendan Burns. His aim is to record, explore and interpret the constant change of shoreline, tide, horizon, climate and rock pools through a semi-abstract style which references artists from Monet to Pollock.

Paint, layered perspex,and wax are among the materials utilised, transparency, rich colour, geometric patterning both the techniques used to create the flux, fragmenting and combining, half seen images, teetering on the edge of recognition and abstraction, entrapping the moment. The resulting paintings are as endlessly varied and intriguing as their subject and Burns’ art is a significant and often enthralling contribution to the centuries-old rendering of nature. It makes him one of the most innovative and interesting of contemporary British artists.

Author David Alston reflects on the richness of this apparently simple art and follows Burns’ career so far, from London art college sculptures to the National Eisteddfod Gold Medal-winning shorescapes. Beautifully illustrated by the images discussed, Into Painting is a delightful object in itself.

David Alston is a respected art critic and former curator of the Lowry Gallery and Keeper of Art at the National Museum of Wales. His criticism, catalogue essays and reviews are numerous and appear in a wide range of publications. He is currently the senior Arts Officer at the Arts Council of Wales.

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