Describing her works as love letters, British artist Naomi Frears creates complex, multi-layered paintings which feature various characters that both confront us and appear lost in their own worlds.
Continuously re-worked, each painting can take Frears years to complete. She describes the process of painting as “choosing every day to be completely lost – often happy lost”. Frequently changing the apparent subject of a painting, she uses an editing process similar to that of film, framing, moving, removing and introducing new elements with paint. As a result, the painting often has shadows or ghosts of previous ideas, figures, and structures visible on the canvas.
You can see her latest series at an upcoming exhibition at Beaux Arts London from 24 October. The show will feature over 25 new works using oil on canvas, acrylic on wood, drypoint on linen and mono printing.
Frears’ studio in St Ives is one of the famous Porthmeor Studios, previously occupied by Francis Bacon, who described it as “the best room in St Ives”. St Ives is associated with many of the great artists of the 20th Century including Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, and Roger Hilton.
Frears’ exhibition follows the celebrated retrospective Four Giants of British Modernism at Beaux Arts London which featured the four pioneers of British Abstract art: Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and William Scott. Frears feels a profound connection with these late artists, and although working with disparate subject matter believes the sense of place provided by St Ives results in contextual parallelisms.
© Naomi Frears – Study for Marlene Wannabe
© Naomi Frears – Baby Grand
© Naomi Frears – By the Lake
© Naomi Frears – Mum in 69
© Naomi Frears – Fringe
© Naomi Frears – Olympic
© Naomi Frears – At Night
© Naomi Frears – Pink Rogue
© Naomi Frears – He Looks like you
© Naomi Frears – Tiny