Comments on: Brancaster Chronicle No. 6: Emyr Williams Paintings Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 By: ken Wed, 30 Oct 2013 14:02:34 +0000 Hi Mark,
I am both bemused and intrigued by these thoughts especially as their “success” would seem to depend on the inclusion of lines, elements that Adieu and Persuader both seem to lack. The former painting seems the flattest of the group standing almost in defiance of what might be a stock approach in the others. The lesser of the paintings in terms of spatial complexity you might say. Is Adieu then in your view more or less successful?
By spatial complexity might you just as well mean content rather than the form(s) we see in these particular works? The idea of what you may mean by spatial complexity might be a red herring that constrains rather than liberates our experience of them. To think otherwise would after all be to view, as you suggest, a different type of painting.

By: Noela Mon, 21 Oct 2013 17:29:19 +0000 That was very helpful, I love the paint quality, very seductive, and I feel it is no bad thing to be seduced by paint.

By: Emyr Williams Mon, 21 Oct 2013 17:03:07 +0000

Here are some images of the work in close up to give a better idea of the surfaces and how the lines look. Hope this is useful.

By: Noela Mon, 21 Oct 2013 08:58:14 +0000 I haven’t seen the paintings in the flesh yet but I feel the lines seem to work better,for me, when there is more of a connection with the painted surface beneath. In Adieu they are moving with the colour passages. In Oiler they seem to be emphasising the directional qualities. In Stepper there seems to be an emergence with the more complex colour passages (I like this one a lot too), and in Head over Heals there seems to be a variety in the thickness of the lines which creates more interest. I feel Emyr might got into a bit of a groove ( very easy for all of us I am sure) but sometimes that is a necessary part of painting. It is a process of finding something . The rich colour is just fantastic though.

By: chris edwick Sat, 19 Oct 2013 14:55:21 +0000 What happens first when colours are applied to a surface is spacial illusion. The lines placed onto these paintings sit emphatically on the canvas surface like late arrivals at the cinema who force you to lean left and right to peer round them whilst you try to keep up with the action on screen.They jar, disrupt and separate you from the reading of the “other” painting beneath. It’s like a collision of Patrick Heron and Ben Nicholson ideologies flicking 2 fingers up at each other in argument.
The paintings beneath the lines have an inventiveness of application searching for something new and keen to find some new way to say something but the standard repetition of this small scale marks them as exercises in forming new words.It’s like listening to someone practising a perfect annunciation of “the cat sat on the mat”. When the practice ends it will be time to say something. I know that when Churchill made his 2nd World War speeches he spoke with intensity and clarity but ultimately it was what he said that mattered.

By: Mark Skilton Fri, 18 Oct 2013 19:33:46 +0000 Hi Emyr
Well this is certainly an exuberant collection of paintings. I am impressed by your energetic approach.
Although I understand and agree in principle to the thin lines that you apply, I find their straightness and thinness irritating. They appear almost like a decorative afterthought, whereas if they were painted with a bit more purpose and conviction they would work as an essential structural element, allowing you to get back in to the painting and build more spatial complexity.

By: John Pollard Fri, 18 Oct 2013 18:04:22 +0000 It seems to be really hard to do good and interesting abstract art which retains a complexity. It also seems to be hard to transcend oneself and make a leap forward; critics seem to suggest that if only an artist could let go of some hang up, hindrance, their work would move forwards leaps and bounds. I’m not sure about this; baby steps seem more the order of the day, certainly when one has got past first base, so to speak.
It is not fair to judge this work properly without seeing it, but I’m not sure I like all the lines. I like drawing in paintings but these are patterning the surface and almost making the colours more inhibited, polite, keeping them in order. My favourite is ‘Persuader’, the one without the lines. On ‘Oiler’ I love the white line but then the green angle seems to inhibit the central shapes, when I feel they shouldn’t be inhibited.
However, sometimes inhibiting works, and looking at these images of Emyr’s paintings and reading the conversation reminds me that you can’t be too rule bound. Perhaps we need to keep an oscillation between polarities going to move forwards, even though we might favour one extreme or another- just a thought.
Having said that about the lines maybe it’s not about the lines per se. Perhaps it is that sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
I enjoyed the work and the conversation. I like the critiques but it is good to see that there is much encouragement as well.