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Art Critiques

by Alan Shipway

Seeing Lyndsey’s paintings for the first time, I was struck by the sureness of their touch - a painterly touch that was as confident on big, six-foot oil paintings as it was in the smallest watercolours. They seemed ambitious, and their ambition was underwritten by this sureness of touch and handling of paint: a confidence rare in someone that age. These were essentially colour-field paintings: the light blue of Cairngorms snowfields when the sun’s gone, or the black of the night on the journey home, with the red touch of tail-lights ahead. 

Like all good paintings, they have a conceptual basis. As with other painterly figurative artists, Elizabeth Peyton or Luc Tuymans for instance, their subject often has a resonance other than what’s ostensibly depicted. In one of Lyndsey’s Cairngorm paintings, a grey painted heiroglyph isn’t just a ski tow in the mist, it also obliquely refers to the mechanised aspects of leisure in the Scottish mountains - the human intervention in the landscape.

A row of loosely painted marks represents a snow fence, put there in the landscape for functional reasons. But first and foremost, these are painterly paintings where everything visual - colour and touch, light and dark, the quality of the paint, comes together in a subtle balance: this consequent visual meaning, one that can’t be put into words, is what comes first: everything else, everything that can be put into words, is secondary.