“The paintings are not directly images of certain paintings or places, but rather an idea of a place and the melancholy of longing and wanting to belong. An unfashionable romanticism grounded in the act of painting.”
Gordon Dalton’s contemporary interiors and landscape paintings reveal traces of style and form from the Nabis, Fauvism and twentieth century Abstraction, a captivating orchestration of impasto, areas of bare canvas and an expressive use of colour.
This sensibility is seen in series of intimate domestic scenes, sections of flat rendering creating fluidity between exterior and interior spaces. This stylistic approach reveals the artist’s interest in the Japanese tradition of landscape, what he describes as “an epic landscape, multiple horizons and perspectives, all flattened down into one image.”
Indeed, the places depicted in Dalton’s pictures reside somewhere between fantasy, nostalgia and a decorative beauty. The artist notes he combines memories of places he has lived, revisited and “long longingly imagined as well as references to significant places and art history.” In schematically composed landscapes in harmonious yet contrasting hues, Dalton lays out scenes of patterned splendour, trees among area of biomorphic pools of colour, outlined in black. A certain dynamism of line recalls the extravagantly detailed and gorgeous work of Édouard Vuillard but now with a certain inflection of the calligraphy of artists like Cy Twombly.
The artist works in various formats, often beginning with a series of small canvas paintings and eventually transitioning to large studies of the same subject matter. Much of his approach is spontaneous, expressed as such in work that artfully plays with the tension of decorative form and painterly expressionism.
Rosa JH Berland