Photo: Pen Dalton in Walthamstow, London

Pen Dalton

Artist, Researcher

 Modernist Rococo: Paradox 

 I  continue in the Modernist tradition which emphasises the specificity and materiality of paint - dealing with stuff: paint's viscosity, its sheen, pouring qualities, opacity and thickness -  and the tools - brushes, sprays, stencils, sticks with which paint is applied.  As with Modernist painting, these paintings don't seek to represent, express or imitate the real world, but are themselves to be considered as material objects in the world. 

But I go beyond Modernist tenets in that I do not restrict my references to fine art. Indeed, 'Modernist' begins to tip over into its opposite: Rococo.  I love paint, but not just for its formal properties of specific lines, dribbles, saturation, intensity etc but for its associated meanings: the way it smooths irregularities, covers up blemishes, deceives, seduces, ceates fantasies and illusions and adds a cheap and cheerful joy to things. Unlike the Modernists, I am happy to exploit the superficial, feminine decorative world of wallpaper, to adapt DIY interior and amateur techniques of marbling and graining, to copy the facile brushwork of tole painting, and apply paint with the vanity and self-absorption of applying make-up. My tools and techniques are from Screwfix and Max-Factor as well as Winsor & Newton


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Location Walthamstow, London
Activities Studio practice
Artforms / type of project Painting, Research
Tags paint, surface, Modernist abstraction, , Rococo

News & Events

  • Contemporary British Painting

    recently joined the CBP group which acts to discuss and promote the new significance of painting in a digital world.

  • Stuff and Nonsense

    20/01/2014 – 01/02/2014
    The Tokarska Gallery, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London

    an exhibition of paintings demonstrating the materiality of paint -in contrast to digitally printed imagery

    Find out more

  • solo show of paintings

    01/06/2015 – 15/06/2015
    The Crypt, St Marylebone Church, Marylebone road, London

    Part of the series "Contemporary British Painting": A show of paintings that re-iterates the difference between digital printing and painting.

    Find out more

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