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The Changing Technologies of Art: Paint Club at Griffin Gallery

Painting by Alaena Turner
Alaena Turner Secret Action Painting (5) 2015

6.30 pm Tuesday 31st March 2015 The Studio Building 21 Evesham Street London W11 4AJ



Paint Club at University of the Arts London, in conjunction with Griffin Gallery, presented an evening of discussion on art, research and science, as related to the expanded fields of practice within contemporary painting, drawing and hybrid forms of image and mark-making. Avant-garde painting through the twentieth century was fuelled both by artists’ embrace of technology, and their urge to innovate and improvise; in some cases rapidly setting aside centuries of accrued knowledge, tradition and craft skills. Pollock’s use of oil-based enamel paints on unprimed cotton and Rothko’s experiments with complex mixtures of emulsions, acrylic and oil leave a difficult forensic trail for conservators and scholars. The life span of many more recent artists’ innovations with synthetic surfaces and materials, sometimes invented for very different purposes, may be difficult to predict; but their very claim to originality, to be genuine ‘research’, may be inextricable from that risk. Is this a Faustian pact?

The issues and challenges were discussed by a panel including Harriet Pearson and Rachel Barker from the Tate’s Conservation team and contemporary artists Alexis Harding and Alaena Turner. Rachel recently oversaw the complex restoration of the Tate’s vandalised Rothko painting and Alaena hosted Dinner with Picasso, a research workshop examining the relationship between art and food.
The event was chaired by Jeffrey Dennis, painter and Course Leader of the BA Fine Art course, Chelsea College of Arts.

This event was made possible by the support of Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton

Supporting artists and encouraging new talent is central to our philosophy at Winsor & Newton. With a history dating back to 1898 we greatly value our relationship with artists and work to support and encourage creativity and the sustainability of art for the future. We have built our reputations on the quality and reliability of our products, combined with continual product development, improvement and innovation. As such Winsor & Newton, in conjunction with Griffin Gallery, are committed to supporting the artistic community of London, creating a space for discussion about contemporary art and showcasing the very best of national and international talent. The exhibition programme offers a platform for emerging as well as established artists, and we offer the use of our facilities for workshops, seminars and artist talks to create a discourse around the artwork on display. Griffin Gallery is located on the ground floor of the head office of ColArt International, the family-owned parent company for world renowned art material brands Winsor & Newton, Liquitex, Conté á Paris, Reeves and Lefranc & Bourgeois; whose origins date back to the early 18th Century.


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