Paul Kessling, Above above, oil on paper, 60cm x 90cm
Paul Kessling paints outdoors, exposed to the natural elements that influences and shapes the landscape. Engaging with the heart of the landscape in this way, Kessling is able to place the viewer at the centre of his vision.
For this new series of work Paul Kessling's scythe-like eye has been harvesting acres of sky, sea and land. He invites us to be truant from our usual visual habits, to rescan our personal panorama. In his video diptych, Above, above, of a split-mirrored Irish sky, he imposingly tampers with the usually understood physics of the natural world by doubling the sky and sending reflective images colliding into themselves. Kessling, here, as elsewhere in his work, generously offers us the impossible, an experience no less of viewing a cloud scudded sky as if for the first time. Through the segmenting, repurposing, and displacement of the physical environment, as in his series of Private Road paintings, our innate response to landscape is challenged. The sublime and phenomenal experience of the natural world, that normally sits as just mere backdrop, has been lifted by Kessling to become a participatory realm which elicits fundamental questions of what it is to inhabit this considerable world. (David Martin, Oxford University Press)
Paul Kessling trained as a sculptor under the tutelage of Eduardo Paolozzi at the Royal College of Art, but it was when he won a traveling scholarship to study the Easter Island statues that his career took an unexpected swerve. With little room for materials he purchased small bottles of French ink and so began his journey as a painter, a medium he has been exploring ever since, developing how he sees and engages with the natural world.
His work has been exhibited at the British Museum and features in several major collections including the House of Lords. He lives in Oxfordshire with his family.
Above above opens 26th October 2012 and features approximately twenty new works in oil and ink, a video diptych and will include a collection of sketches.
The Modern Artists Gallery was established in 2000 with a view to showcasing established and emerging artists. With an eye for new talent Peggy Brodie has introduced and premiered work by painters and sculptors whose work is now housed in collections around the world.
Set in the idyllic and unexpected setting of Whitchurch on Thames in Oxfordshire and sitting where once the only village shop stood, the gallery has become an important feature of village life, serving contemporary art to the locals and attracting art lovers from both the UK and the rest of the world.