Hannah Maybank is well known for pushing the boundaries of painting as a two-dimensional discipline through her transformation of the flat painterly surface into one that ripples, splinters, overlaps, and protrudes. In this new body of work she combines the three-dimensionality of her sculptural surfaces with the conventions of historical landscape painting and illusory perspective.
It has long been suggested that if a painting is created in such a way as to draw attention to its own method of construction, the visible method of creation undermines the success of illusory representation. The material presence of paint and its method of application creates tension between the paintings own reality and the representational scene depicted on its surface. Calling attention to their own material fragmentation, Maybanks works deny the possibility of painterly deception. However in works such as The Invitation and Mirrored Oaks, she has turned to the illusory possibilities of painting. Pathways lead our eyes from the foreground of the painting, through clusters of trees towards a horizon. Embracing the conventions of the landscape genre, Maybank finds herself in a better position to rupture its pretence.
The works begin as series of fluid, almost calligraphic ink drawings. The tree silhouettes can be found repeated and resized throughout Maybanks canvases creating divisions and protrusions across the monochromatic field. This repetition de-familiarises consensual conceptions of the landscape while re-affirming her longstanding relationship with the cycles within life and the life of a painting. These paintings offer a position where certain information is sought and given slowly, where the paintings, through content, composition and process, grow and die, are built up and then fall apart. They are an invitation into an illusion, an invitation into their making and an invitation into the cycle of things.
In my beginning is my end
. In my end is my beginning
T.S.Eliot East Coker
This is Hannah Maybanks third solo exhibition at Gimpel Fils
. This year her work was exhibited at the New Forest Pavilion, at the 53rd Venice Biennale. She had a major solo show at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle in 2008, and was artist in residence at ArtSway, in the New Forest in the winter of 2007. Her residency at ArtSway culminated in a solo show there in spring 2008. She lives and works in London.