Alison Turnbull is known for the intricate abstract paintings and drawings she creates from found materials, such as diagrams, plans, charts and maps. The exhibition presents new and recent works exploring ideas around observation, orientation and perspective.
Two of her new paintings have their starting point in drawings by the Pavilion’s architect, Erich Mendelsohn; the elevation of the Observatory in Potsdam for Einstein’s Tower (2013) and the blueprint for the Pavilion itself for Mendelsohn’s Staircase (2013). Other paintings include North and South(2011) derived from a constellation map of the northern and southern hemispheres and Ecliptic (2013) referencing the imaginary line that describes the orbit of the sun. Across the gallery space are six of the artist’s Drawing Tables (2010 – ) an ongoing series of drawings made on printed stationery from around the world, presented in specially designed tables.
Alison Turnbull (b. 1956, Bogotá, Colombia; lives London, UK) makes abstract paintings from found materials such as cluster diagrams, architectural plans, and star charts. The process of translating the diagrammatic information into pictorial form is slow and painstaking.
She describes how ‘”the original image, edited and then re-imagined in colour through the process of painting, gradually detaches itself from its source, is freed from its history and exists in the present tense. I attempt to give equal weight to the cultural and scientific context of the found material, the formal properties of painting and the material activities involved in making the work. It’s a delicate sort of balancing act.”
Alison Turnbull is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London.
Recent exhibitions include: Alison Turnbull, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2012); Galápagos, touring exhibition, Gulbenkian Galapagos Artists Residency Programme (2012-2013) and Observatory, Matt’s Gallery, London (2010).