'As Above, So Below', Richard Kirwan

Painting of a background of green lines and two clusters of red, blue and white rounded shapes

Acrylic on canvas, 203 x 203 cm, 2007

Artist's statement

When I am thinking about painting, I might refer to a variety of contradictory statements by other artists, for example, Marcel Duchamp's distillation of painting as 'retinal, precision optics' or Jasper Johns' sketchbook note to 'avoid a polar situation.'

I admire the clarity of Donald Judd's 'Specific Objects' alongside Andy Warhol's philosophy about 'Leftovers.

I am interested in how Jeff Koons' comments about 'Banality' contrast sharply with the nagging doubt of Gerard Richter's 'Daily Practice of Painting.'

Painting exists in an increasingly sophisticated visual world that has little or no interest in the capability of painting in particular.

Paradoxically, painting can beg, borrow or steal increasingly from the technologies that might be seen to marginalise such a historic, haptic activity.


Richard Kirwan was born in Southampton in 1969. He studied at Winchester School of Art 1987-88, Brighton Polytechnic 1988-91 and Goldsmiths College London 1992-94. His solo exhibitions
include 'Recent Paintings' Southampton City Art Gallery 2001, 'Italian Paintings' British School at Rome 2002, 'Modern Blood' Galerie Hollenbach Stuttgart 2004, 'Devil's Detail' Hornsey Pump House Gallery London 2005, 'New Paintings & Works on Paper' Ausstellungsraum Zürich 2006 and 'Modern Manners' Galerie Hollenbach Stuttgart 2007. Recent group exhibitions include 'Abstract Mode' Contemporary Art Projects London 2006 and 'Mythomania : Double Use' Nunnery Fine Arts London 2007.