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Russell West - New Façades

Updated: Feb 7

A new series of paintings exploring themes of saturation and surface abstraction

West is a maverick colour-charter playing with our perceptions of paint. An integral part of Woolff Gallery’s stable of artists creating wall-based works from unconventional mediums and techniques, his paintings are unique for utilising paint skin as a medium. Processing layers of paint into three dimensional graphs of colour, they intersect the fields of abstract expressionism, assemblage and contemporary pop all at once.

For West, paint and subject matter go hand in hand. Remembering built-up areas such as the Kowloon walled city in Hong Kong, his Neighbourhood series evoke the mesmerising collage of surfaces waylaying a city, with multi-storey housing blocks clad in dripping banners and washing lines. His new works, however, abstract these surfaces even further. ’New Façades’ presents a series of paintings which take inspiration from a consumer-centric world closer to home.

Fast Food looks at the relentless presentation of bright packaging in local supermarkets, serving up low quality goods as a cylindrical feast for the eyes, whilst Small Town speaks to a rapidly shifting high street. Each new shop front forgets the existence of the one which came before, leaving a sense of locality bleeding out from around the edges. West describes his own feelings towards the changing locale today:

“There’s nothing permanent about small towns anymore. One minute there’s a butcher and the next minute there’s someone plastering over it. It’s about the speed of constant change and what’s left behind. It’s painting over painting.” Russell West

Woolff Gallery plans to show these bold and evocative new works early next year in London. Condensing themes of transformation and striking optics, this is a novel venture for an artist sound boarding the effects of over-saturation on our gaze. One not to miss, if only to stop for a minute and look.

Private View: 25th January, 6-8pm, Woolff Gallery, 89 Charlotte St. W1T 4PU.


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