Painting as a Fetishistic Compulsion

G L Brierley, Covetell, oil on wood, 2010

The paintings attempt to capture this seduction/repulsion dynamic where paint is applied as matter, a word that derives from “mater” meaning mother. The fleshy quality of the paint is alive and unpredictable, as it is poured it congeals, wrinkles and alchemically reacts. Amidst this unruliness, glazes are used to detail, groom and lovingly cherish the resulting object/subject in its state of becoming, like the dressing of a doll. Recognisable, sometimes domestic motifs are added; lace, fur, cake-icing and wooden furniture inlay. Out of the live organic paint emerges a ”figure” that hovers liminally between abstract and figuration, success and failure, the comic and the grotesque, emitting a pathos of not being quite fully born out of it’s dark soup. It is both animate and inanimate, pantomime and freak show, possibly suggesting an ethnographic artefact or a natural history illustration. The resulting series could be seen to echo the work of 17th century Dutch still-life paintings that depicted a newly discovered natural world which ultimately lead to the tulip becoming a commodity fetish.           –  G L Brierley on her Matersatz series.

More images on G L Brierley website here.

Posted by Robert Armstrong

G L Brierley, Tillyflop, oil on wood, 2010


One thought on “Painting as a Fetishistic Compulsion

  1. Artist's in Progress

    Her processes are so mysterious- it makes me want to figure out the alchemy at work, what materials are used? It seems a very clever and artistic response of detailed painting into the pouring.


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