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Recent Paintings by Contemporary Scottish Painter Stephen Conroy at Marlborough Gallery
Stephen Conroy, The Man You Never Knew II, 2010, oil on canvas. Photo: Courtesy Marlborough Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marlborough Gallery presents the exhibition of recent paintings by the contemporary Scottish painter, Stephen Conroy. Conroy’s last New York show took place in 2007 and the exhibition gives viewers a chance to see the latest work by this captivating painter. The exhibition opened November 30 and continues through December 30, 2010.

The show comprises over thirty oils on canvas, the majority of which are large paintings measuring 68 x 42 inches, and several small studies of heads measuring 14 x 12 inches. In this new series of paintings, Conroy continues his pre-occupation with the human figure in isolation and presents a single male figure posed in various standing positions. More than half of the paintings are self portraits and these range from a series of head studies in which he portrays himself both frontally and in profile, as well as three-quarter length views with arms in various attitudes. This is a striking group of paintings, where the artist’s gaze is particularly poignant and enigmatic. Continuing a theme begun in his previous series, two of the figures in the self portraits are depicted talking on a mobile phone, an action that enhances the work’s sense of psychological interiority.

Conroy frequently employs a framing device of bold geometric patterns such as black or orange vertical bands at the left and right hand sides of the canvas that serve as the paintings’ compositional structure. The space is stripped of details and the action of the figures is reduced to concentrated, minimal effects. Everything is in tension and expressed with a powerful economy of means. Conroy’s canvases of the male figure simply known by his initials D.M. (D.M. I, D.M. II and D.M. III, all 2010, 68 x 42 in.) are particularly effective in this manner as the man’s arms are pulled up away from his body in an aggressive manner and his intense stare makes one consider his motives.

The allure of Conroy’s work, its impact and fascination, are indeed partly derived from the figures’ imposing and silent presence, but also from a unique faculty of introspective mood that the artist imparts to his painting. His grandly communicative canvases with their masterly drawing and painting technique manifest an intriguing mystery of purpose, and they are like no other figurative works being done today.

Conroy was born in 1964 in Helensburgh, Scotland. He attended the Glasgow School of Art and had his first one-man show at Marlborough Fine Art London in 1989 at the age of twenty-five. In 1998 he won the Grand Prize of HRH Prince Ranier III in Monaco. In July 2003 he had an exhibition at the Schlesurg-Holstein Museum in Schloss Gottorf, Germany. He lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.

Marlborough Gallery | Stephen Conroy | New York |

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