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Indepth Arts News:

"P J Crook: New Paintings and cConstructions"
2002-03-06 until 2002-04-27
Galerie Alain Blondel
Paris, , FR France

An innovator in the new English figuration, P J Crook renders urban crowds which while they consist of individuals absorbed in their own newspaper, cocktail or itinerary, are nonetheless interchangeable archetypes.  Or sometimes they are members of a family who are more interested in their own game, reading or mirror than in the person in front of them.  There is always a poignant solitude surrounding these characters onto which the theatrical staging adds a colourful dash of humour.

The artist is a virtuoso in the mischievous art of beguiling our perceptions and expectations.   She plays with the notion of painting: not only does she add almost undetectable carved reliefs onto on the flat canvas but she then extends them into open boxes - where all the surfaces, both inside and outside, are engaged in the narrative. She confuses our sense of space:  the spectator, deceived by the mirror effects, often looks at a scene actually taking place behind him. She plays games with questions of identity:  twins are sometimes the same person, likewise opposing players can be reflections of each other.

P J manipulates time: the same person can be represented at different ages in the same work or simultaneously be doing contradictory things.  She enjoys mixing ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ perspective or carefully painting the shadow thrown by a relief object - which may then superimpose itself on the real shadow thereof, depending on the angle it is seen from.  Her work is a disconcerting meditation on our assumptions of reality.

Béatrice Comte
Figaro Magazine

IMAGE:
P.J Crook
Bather
Acrylic on Canvas
178 cm x 178 cm


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