Winner of the 1993 Grand Prize at the Tokyo International Print Exhibition, Mark Francis’s work lies poised between abstraction and representation, nature and culture. His paintings and prints derive from his interest in biological and cellular forms and refer to man’s internal environment or biology. The forms derive from microbiological photography and medical pictures of bacteria, cells and chromosomes, which for Francis refer to earlier beginnings in nature that are revealed to us through technology.
The paintings are meticulously executed by a process not immediately apparent to the viewer. The tooth of the canvas is removed by priming it with layers of a plastic medium which eventually smoothens out the surface. Then, painting wet-on-wet, Francis lays down and blurs shapes, using soft brushes so that only traces of brushstrokes can be seen on close scrutiny. The blurring and shading establish a natural rhythm, part random, part order, part slow motion. The artist states that these allude to our ‘fragile existence and suggest how little we know about ourselves and our place in the cosmos’.*
*Quotation from exhibition catalogue, IMMA Glen Dimplex Artists Award, 1996.
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||213 x 183 cm|
|Credit Line||IMMA Collection: Purchase, assisted by funding from Maire and Maurice Foley, 1996|
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