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09 Aug 2018

Celia Paul

Yale Center for British Art

Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch

This one-room, six-painting show conveys a heft all out of proportion to its size. One could think of Celia Paul as a second-generation School of London painter, with the requisite personal links to the first generation and an equal commitment to the alchemical powers of pigmented oils. Her contribution to that body of work is a heartfelt, nuanced faith. A 2015 painting, My Sisters In Mourning, makes the connection explicit. One of the four sitters is an Anglican vicar, another is a notable theologian. They sit, hands in laps, gazes inward, remembering their departed mother as a light about equal parts Rembrandt interior and Turner nocturne washes through them.

The artist is a regular retreatant to a religious enclave in Exmoor and a visitor to various English coastal towns. Consequently two seascapes appear. One of these is Shoreline (2015-16), which got an audible gasp out of me. In the pearlescent, implied waves, Paul seems not only have layered paint, but time - ages' worth.

Exhibition Celia Paul link
Start date 03 Apr 2018
End date 12 Aug 2018
Presenter Yale Center for British Art link
Venue 1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, USA map
Image Celia Paul, My Sisters in Mourning, 2015-16, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London/Venice, © Celia Paul 2018

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