Ian Davenport's new paintings, directly referencing works by Pierre Bonnard, at Waddington Custot

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Ian Davenport's new paintings, directly referencing works by Pierre Bonnard, at Waddington Custot
Ian Davenport, Acra Magenta, 2019, acrylic on aluminium mounted onto aluminium panel, 101.6 x 101.6 cm.

LONDON.- Waddington Custot launched New Work, an online platform debuting painting and sculpture by leading contemporary artists working today. The initiative begins with a series of dedicated solo exhibitions opening at intervals throughout the summer. A recently completed body of work by London-based artist Ian Davenport kicked off the programme.

New Work: Ian Davenport features four 'Puddle Paintings', which continue the artist's celebrated exploration of colour. Central to Davenport's practice is his choice of palette and unconventional methods in his application of paint. The colour combinations in this series directly reference paintings by French artist Pierre Bonnard, which Davenport encountered at the 2019 exhibition 'Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory' at Tate Modern. Working in particular response to 'Nude in the Bath', 1936, Davenport's paintings explore Bonnard's continually shifting colour palette, choreographing complex colour variations between yellow, grey, purple and blue.

Once his palette is decided, Davenport applies individual colours of acrylic paint to the top end of his aluminium surface. As the lines of paint fall in dripped vertical columns, they move into one another, creating a particular visual effect. Davenport comments, 'it is hard to have a fixed view of Bonnard's painting as one's eye travels around the surface of the canvas, alighting on the different flickering colours and hues'. Davenport similarly combines the colours within his selected palette in such a way that they merge and blend, appearing to pulsate and contract in front of the viewer.

Upon reaching the base of the composition the paint channels pool, twisting and swirling as each colour is free to find its own route through the others. Evident in these works is Davenport's careful attention to process, and his interest in the resulting composition when the paint is given an agency of its own, beyond control of the artist.

New Work: Ian Davenport runs at Waddington Custot online from 26 May and will be followed by New Work: David Annesley, featuring four unseen sculptures by the octogenarian artist, who has recently returned to making work after a long hiatus. Annesley's first solo exhibition was held at the Waddington Galleries over fifty year ago, in 1966.

Produced and programmed in response to an unusual set of global circumstances, New Work does not adhere to a central theme, allowing each artist to pursue their projects and preoccupations without restriction. This approach takes into consideration the need for artists to adapt and reconfigure their established processes, transforming perceived limitations into creative opportunities.

In a spirit of optimism for the gallery to reopen this summer, and in support of the belief that the best possible way to experience and appreciate painting and sculpture is to see it in person, the works will be installed at the Cork Street premises of Waddington Custot, ready for an eventual opening for visitors.

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