Artist: Louise Lawton
Lawton is renowned for her stark monochrome paintings of figures and crowd formations seen from high-up perspectives. The paintings are made on boards with a beautifully prepared gesso ground and then drawn onto using compressed charcoal. Her paintings continue to be obsessively detailed and firmly occupy the figurative arena. This detail encourages the viewer to focus on the figures, which are like characters that all have their own story. However, Lawton’s emphasis has always been as much on the figures as on the space in which they occupy. The artist plays with space to create tension and uncertainty. There is a sense of silence amongst the crowds that in large are solitary. Absorbed by an abundance of white space they are denied any identity with their environment. Looking at these figures from this high up viewpoint led Lawton to go even higher and her work has broadened to include whole cityscapes of places such as London and New York. Taking months to create, these paintings are painstakingly drawn from multiple photographs of the particular city. Lawton cuts and pastes the photos by hand to create views much wider than anything a normal camera lens can capture. The lines of perspective are woven together to create a composition of a view that is believable, yet has a certain tension.