Rufus Newell and Zoe Spowage are both artists based in Leeds who make paintings, drawings and sculptures that often feature larger-than-life characters, loose narratives and a rich variety of colours. The exhibition features recent large and small-scale pieces that showcase their shared interests in gender, motifs and the playful act of painting.
Rufus layers, combines, and reworks his paintings to create textured images that are thick with energetic gestures and vivid focus points. In the past he has explored Greek statues and mythology as a means to explore maleness, and his paintings and drawings continue to feature vessels, tables and busts. The smaller works in this show present the viewer with empty rooms, flattened into shape and pattern.
Zoe’s creates bold and expressive paintings focusing on the female form, often inspired by fashion advertising, Japanese comics and theatre design. Hairstyles, hats and high heels feature prominently in Zoe’s recent paintings, where she often uses text to create humour and characters to create mood. Curves and sharp angles take centre stage in her images, brought to life in pastel hues and brash neon tones, creating paintings that are both flamboyant and sensual.
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