The traditional meaning of the word masterpiece is a work considered an artist's best or most representative and this new collection by Paul Wright richly deserves the title.
Paul Wright has exhibited at Modern Artists Gallery
, Berkshire since the early stages of his career, and enjoyed his first solo show at the gallery in 2006. The success of the show prompted his successful entry to the BP National Portrait Award and his career has snowballed at an astonishing rate since. Critical affirmation of this young artists work has come not just via the National Portrait Award but also inclusion among the hallowed walls of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Londons Discerning Eye exhibition and a recent stint as Artist in Residence at Texas University.
His paintings have roused the interest, not just of critics, but of contemporary art buyers too. His paintings have met with huge success at Art London over the last two years and with regular London exhibitions boosting his reputation, collectors are clamoring to acquire up these remarkable works.
Smudge is one of the highlights of the new show and it best typifies what visitors can expect from Wrights developing and evolving technique. The energy of the sitter seems to be barely constrained by the canvas. Sweeping strokes of the palette knife dissolve and re-form across the picture space to form a fleeting glimpse of the protagonist. Wright has approached these portraits with a more abstracted perspective, seemingly dismantling the features before reforming the image. This allows him to successfully capture the sense of a person's life as well as their appearance and character.
Perhaps the reason for Wrights budding success is his relentless need to constantly challenge himself, re-evaluate and progress his technique. The monumental oil paintings A Life and A Life Without show two similar interiors with and without sitters and the viewer suspects that this may be Wright questioning the validity of his protagonists within their painterly environments. The sensuous nature of the paintwork, the bold application and the sensation of movement through the work combines to make glorious imagery and colour which bursts off the canvas.
While this beautiful collection of work can definitely be considered Paul Wrights Masterpiece 2012, his best and most representative work, one does not feel that it will stop here. An artist of supreme talent you are likely to hear his name linked to the contemporary art market more and more frequently over the years to come.