The British artist, Shaun McDowell, has worked to create distinct series of paintings using different materials and applications in each body – acrylic paint applied by hand, oil stick drawn and smudged, oil paint applied wet on dry to build up layers of clear independent marks that form a whole. With inspiration from a nude model, McDowell has developed a language of abstract synesthetic expression.
After graduating in 2005 from a BA Fine Art (New Media) course at Chelsea College of Art and Design, McDowell focused on working with artists in Peckham, London, and at the Peckham squat 78 Lyndhurst Way. McDowell met Hannah Barry at Chelsea Space gallery in 2006 and became friends, often meeting at Lyndhurst Way to discuss plans and ambitions with artists such as James Balmforth, Oliver Griffin, Christopher Green and Bobby Dowler who managed the squat, its residents and also invited individuals for periods of stay. Lyndhurst Way was to become an artist lead gallery and was the nucleus from which Hannah Barry Gallery emerged in January 2008. Lyndhurst Way exhibitions began with ’10 Rooms and a Sculpture Garden November 2006 and closed with ‘Bold Tendencies’ ending October 2007.
In 2008 McDowell produced a series of works for his first solo show – Confessions and Love pictures, shown at Hannah Barry Gallery, Peckham. In this series, McDowell created abstract paintings inspired by the sittings of a nude model and lover. On 9 boards, acrylic paint was drawn and smudged using hands and fingers.
In another series of “life” inspired works, McDowell used oil stick on board and travelled through Switzerland and Italy to make works in the landscape with his model. Viewing Nicolas Poussin’s “Sleeping Venus and Cupid” in the exhibition “Poussin and Nature” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, was the initial impetus for McDowell wanting to make works in such landscape.
Viewing Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s “The Souvenir” at the Wallace Collection, London, and small works by artists such as Pieter Brueghel the Elder/Younger, Théodore Géricault and Joachim Wtewael at TEFAF, Maastricht, McDowell was inspired to embark on a series of smaller works for a solo show at the Hannah Barry Bond St space –. The Souvenir, 2012.
Shaun McDowell has established himself through his energetic model inspired works and also for works made alone which exhibit a process free and intuitive in its laying down of marks and complex and calculated in its building up of layers. In a Financial Times review of his solo show “The Souvenir” (2012), McDowell was handed an accolade – “most exciting abstract painter of his generation”.
Shaun McDowell lives and works in London.
|2014||Shaun Mcdowell, Moons Masks Birds Demons||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Solo|
|2014||Degree of Darkness||Rook & Raven, London||Group|
|2014||Save yourself||Hannah Barry Gallery, Peckham, London||Group|
|2014||EN-TRÉE||MIDDLEMARCH, Brussels, Belgium||Group|
|2013||PECKHAMNEWYORKPARIS||Shoot The Lobster/Martos Gallery, New York||Group|
|2013||Paint As You Like And Die Happy!||Fokidos, Athen||Group|
|2013||PECKHAMNEWYORKPARIS||Galerie 104 Kleber, Paris||Group|
|2013||PECKHAMNEWYORKPARIS||88 Friary Road, Peckham, London||Group|
|2012||Shaun McDowell - The Souvenir||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Solo|
|2011||Shaun Mcdowell - New Paintings||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Solo|
|2011||Nothing Fixed||Marcelle Josephs Projects, London||Group|
|2011||The Tangled Grove||Brickhouse at Nutbrook Studios, Peckham, London||Solo|
|2010||The Discerning Eye||The Mall Galleries, London||Group|
|2009||Visible Invisible: Against the Security of the Real||Parasol unit, London||Group|
|2009||To Paint Is To Love Again||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Group|
|2009||53rd Venice Biennale||The Peckham Pavilion, Venice||Group|
|2008||Shaun McDowell - Confessions And Love Pictures||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Solo|
|2008||Optimism: The Art Of Our Time||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Group|
|2008||Optimism: The Art of Our Time||Hannah Barry Gallery, London||Group|
|2008||Bold Tendencies 2||Peckham, London||Group|
|2007||Monumental Painting, Sculpture & Film||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2007||Building and Breaking||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2007||Drawing in Pencil||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2007||Experiments with Figuration||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2007||Landscape, Film and Photography||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2007||Small Paintings and Sculpture||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2006||Rehearsing/Samuel Beckett - Chelsea space||Chelsea College of Art and Design, London||Group|
|2006||10 Rooms and a Sculpture Garden||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2006||The Gateless Gate||78 Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London||Group|
|2006||Turtle||Chelsea Space, London||Group|
|2006||Spontaneous Academy||Architects Association, London||Group|
|2006||Rehearsing/Samuel Beckett||Chelsea Space, London||Group|