克里斯多夫‧湯森 Christopher Thompson  英國   b.1969

生於英國的格里姆斯比(Grimsby),受訓於皇家藝術研究院(Royal Academy),自他畢業一來,作品廣為展覽,收到許多私人收藏家的典藏,但最知名的莫過於國家肖像館(National Portrait Gallery)。

Thompson 擅長運用細膩的繪畫技巧和一貫柔和的色彩,將人生百態盡表露在人物的一舉手、一投足、一回眸之中。 Thompson 的畫作往往結合了他的想像和觀察,因此畫作總是與現實有一步之遙,穿梭在真實與虛幻之間,但卻又有無比的原創性。他的畫作在呈現群體與個人、明説與暗示中讓人著迷。有時作品中的人物流露出孤單與抽離感,遺世獨立;有時畫中人物又好似積極與觀者互動,善於交流。不論是哪一種情緒, Thompson總是能將觀者拉入他創造的世界中。而我們與畫中人物的對話就如同畫布本身一般,成爲作品敘事的一部份。

Christopher Thompson, an English artist, was born in Grimsby in 1969 and studied at The Royal Academy. Since graduating he has exhibited extensively at home and abroad, his work featuring in many private collections and, most notably, in The National Portrait Gallery in London.

 

His technically accomplished paintings derive from an interest in the portrait and particularly what might be termed ‘the urban portrait’. Solitary figures, predominantly male, are often situated in sparsely rendered urban spaces. Their form is dramatically revealed by artificial light; the resultant ‘chiaroscuro’ effect lends a brooding, emotional intensity to the scene. When framed by a theatrically simple staging, that which is initially a study in character becomes something of a narrative. The paintings have the quality of a excerpt  from a film, a pause for thought, before the action continues. These figures are seen at pivotal moments of assessment or judgement.

 

The artist’s fine art training is revealed in the subdued palette, control of expressive tonality and art historical reference. The careful, analytical draughtsmanship and closely-observed fluency of the handling articulate the planes and surfaces of his subjects’ features, with an obvious emphasis on the head and hands, those most expressive of elements. He pays close attention to physical attitude and gesture, important components in conveying the mood of the scene. All these painterly competences come seamlessly together in each of these compositions.

 

Viewing these paintings one is put in mind of Edward Hopper’s nocturnal scenes, updated to a contemporary context, peopled by a modern version of Manet’s ‘flâneur’. We are presented with an image of a solitary, possibly alienated, individual negotiating a path through a dimly lit and deserted modern dystopia. These characters appear to be engaged in a familiar, and timeless, personal story of ‘what to do ?’ and ‘what next ?’.

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