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Tony Hull’s paintings are made slowly over a period of time and in turn relate to the fabric of things through time. Close up the surface dissolves into the layers of paint that have gathered to form the image. The quality of the marks deployed is key to the way they are read, with large strokes, runs and drags of fluid paint used to depict what is often quite intimate imagery.
The most recent work references sixteenth century Flemish paintings of children. In the originals the sitters wear formal attire appearing as ‘little adults’. In these paintings the use of anachronism, adding contemporary stuff like mobiles and cameras or Batman and Robin masks, takes away from this formality. There is a sense of different elements fusing together to create a unified image and yet the reference points remaining distinct. A self-consciously irreverent, clumsy form of role-play begins to emerge where the children inhabit a paint surface that is coming into being, in contrast to the tight, dense handling of the originals. There is often a sense of melancholy to paintings in this series.
Tony Hull’s work is about putting different things together and seeing what happens. Hull has made paintings exploring the unique characteristics of mark-making using quite banal or ubiquitous imagery like wallpaper and his recent work continues to explore these sorts of tensions.
Tony Hull is based in London with paintings in numerous European and U.S. collections. After graduating with a BA at Chelsea School of Art, he went on to Post Graduate study at the Slade School of Fine Art. He has exhibited in Britain and Europe, taking part in numerous group and solo shows, most recently the Threadneedle Painting Prize.