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LUCIE BENNETT | NEW ORIGINAL PAINTINGS

September 3rd 2016
Continuing to reference the female figure, for her new body of work Lucie Bennett takes inspiration from neo-classical sculpture, introducing painted folds of cloth for the first time.

Being familiar with Lucie Bennett’s work you will know that her chosen subject matter has almost always been the female body. Whether figurative pieces depicted in the slick, controlled lines she’s best recognised for, or block forms with a more abstract feel, the inspiration for her work from the beginning has been women. Over the years Lucie has experimented with many different mediums. Aside from her gloss on aluminium paintings and limited edition screenprints - which together form the majority of her work - she has used neon, laser cut acrylic, card collage and drawing, each lending itself excellently to her insightful compositions.

Something also notable of late with Lucie’s work is that although most of her images tend to feature a single character, she’s been drawn to making works in pairs. This can be seen with a number of recent Eyestorm editions, such as screenprints Ring-a-Zing-Zing and Electric Dreams along with Damson Fling and Racing Green from 2013, and also with Tutti Frutti and Candy Stripe, the two acrylic works from 2014. Even the two neon pieces, Romy in Lights and Marianne in Lights, work as a pair, despite them being released at different points in 2015. By producing these pairs, Lucie creates an intriguing interplay between her characters, adding something more than just one lone figure and encouraging us to consider the relationship between the two subjects.

The four new paintings continue with the concept of pairing, together forming two diptychs, but also indicate a progression in the work with the introduction of a new element, which in the case of these works, takes centre stage. During a visit to the V&A Museum, Lucie was inspired by the neo-classical sculptures she saw, and describes how she was struck by their beauty and the tactile quality of the marble ‘material’ that covers them. She went on to say that she felt the synergy between the curve of a hip or a shoulder and the draped material created a “heightened sense of the difference between body and cloth, and at the same time a stronger aesthetic appreciation of both”.

Very much taken by this notion, Lucie decided to incorporate draped material into her own work for the first time, referencing the sculptures from the museum. The result is Tearose 1, Tearose 2, Shangrila Silk 1 and Shangrila Silk 2, the four new unique paintings we’re launching today.

With their neutral background and minimal lines that form the head and torso, these new gloss on aluminium works are unmistakably Bennett’s. Colour is an important part of Lucie’s work and here she’s chosen to use it in flat areas to accentuate the drapes, which in turn bring our attention to the natural curves of the bodies. The well selected colours sit perfectly together, again suggesting the works can be shown together as one. Abstraction is very much at the forefront of a lot of Lucie’s recent work, and here we can see interesting shapes created by the rendering of the folds of material in paint. In fact if one were to look at Tearose 2 alone, it is quite abstract without the other works, and I think this ambiguity is interesting for Lucie, as she plays with our ideas of perception.

The four new paintings measure 45.5cm x 45.5cm each, and are available from today. They will also be exhibited in New York later this month.

See them in more detail, along with more work by Lucie Bennett here.
ANGIE DAVEY
Creative Director
 
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