'Hotel', Tim Renshaw

Abstract painting, description follows in the main text below

Oil on canvas, 274.5 x 183 cm

Hotel began as two adjacent surfaces, symmetrically composed and, so to speak, doubling one another. One half of the whole became a kind of black, the other a type of pink. Together the two parts formed the ground and the boundary within which to organise a series of inscriptions. As in starting a piece of writing on a blank page, the markings spread, somewhat slowly, from the top left corner, across to the right and downwards. Whilst the end was anticipated in the beginning, somewhere along the line other combinations opened up that were simultaneously a product of the painting’s own internal momentum but were extrinsic to its originating plan.

An eternal traveller in Borges’s ‘Library of Babel’ eventually happens upon the point where the library’s infinite disorder begins to repeat itself. This may suggest, inversely, that repetition possesses the potential for infinity.


Tim Renshaw was born in Brighton in 1964. He studied at Brighton College of Art 1982-83, Leeds Metropolitan University 1983-86 and Chelsea College of Art 1989-90. His first one-man show was at Battersea Arts Centre London 1991 and others followed at Winchester Gallery Winchester 1994 during his Winchester Fellowship and Lock up London 2000. Recent group shows include Jerwood Prize 2001 and Painting Degree Zero and Bad Touch both at Keith Talent Gallery London 2003.