'Acknowledging the canvas as an object, I paint into its shape, transforming the flat square into a three dimensional illusion of itself; a kind of cubic container. Into this space, I bring an illusion of a delicate skin-like and curved membrane in extreme close up that appears to move between physical presence and atmosphere.
The colors and tones I work with are inspired by an ongoing portrait project (small gouaches) of people in which I analyze how light and shadow reveal different skin tones. I select from these subtle color and tonal combinations one warm and one cool color as a base for each painting.
The reductive, spatial aesthetic of these square oil paintings means that their association to skin operates on an almost subliminal level. I am exploring the relationship between skin colors and their complimentary colors; the complimentary color around the edges serves to dissolve the integrity of this skin-like membrane and to influence perception of its color.'
Scottish painter Gwen Hardie lives and works in New York City. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1984, she was awarded a DAAD scholarship to study with Georg Baselitz in Berlin. Hardie moved to London in 1990 and NYC in 2000. Her work was most recently shown in 2020 at Chabot Fine Art, The Hague, and 2019 at the Art The Hague, PAN AMSTERDAM and KunstRAI/Art Amsterdam art fairs, with Alexandra Siebelink Art Projects – ASAP.
Recent exhibitions include: REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting, with Lucien Freud, Jenny Saville and others at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and The Sainsbury Centre, Norwich UK; Borderline Depictions of Skin, Garis & Hahn, New York City and SKIN; An Artistic Atlas, with John Coplans, Marlene Dumas and others at The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. Hardie's work is in many private and public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, The British Council and the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon. She was the youngest ever artist to be given a solo show at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, in 1990. Reviews of her work are in Art In America, The New York Times, Artcritical.com, The Glasgow Herald, The New Yorker, The Scotsman, and The Independent. Hardie has received Fellowships at The Bogliasco Foundation, Genoa, Italy, VCCA, MacDowell and Yaddo in the USA.