‘Walls’ is Miranda Donovan’s third exhibition with the Lazarides gallery. It sees the London-based artist’s work evolving along the path set by previous shows Lost World of Innocence and The Home Unleashed, into an impressively cohesive vision. Donovan’s work fuses an exploration into sculpture and colour with a dedication to the possibilities and practice of painting, to create utterly unique ‘urban’ art. Her works are manifestations of the melancholic march of time.
For this exhibition, Donovan will present over twenty paintings all of which return to her ongoing fascination with walls. This time they are often life-size in scale. The larger works are characterized by their three dimensional quality, seen here to an even greater extent than in her previous work, built up in layers of resin, foam, plaster and paint. The textural and tactile aspects are very apparent in the larger works, which are essentially ‘sculptural paintings’. They hang on the wall but are often 10cm deep in thickness. Due to the sheer physicality and weightiness of these larger pieces, on initial glance these works may seem to the viewer to be walls literally hacked out from their surroundings and displayed in a gallery – but in fact they are sculptures, where even the bricks are fabricated, reproduced in a super-real style through the prism of Miranda’s artistry. Liberated and uncompromising, they reveal a level of sophistication and confidence perhaps not immediately apparent in Miranda’s previous work.
The smaller pieces averaging 40cm x 40cm often represent segments of cracked plaster walls. These are framed in Perspex boxes lending them an archeological, almost bijou feel blurring the line between art and artefact. Nothing Lasts Forever II (pictured above) is one of the larger pieces on display. The inspiration came from a large section of green and grey wall with white tiles revealing themselves where the plaster had cracked away. “Initially I reproduced the wall faithfully – then I replaced the tiles with another linear pattern, London bricks. The linearity of the bricks is broken up by the irregularity of the plaster. The wall has begun to age and crack. Man and the elements have left their mark. Just as this fabricated wall evolved over time the wall that had initially inspired me would have undergone its own changes. Nothing lasts forever! Our world constantly changes and evolves whether through man’s influence or nature taking its own course. Man is so often looking to newer, better and bigger ideas yet so often beauty can be seen in the simplest of things – in my case, a brick wall.”
About the artist: Miranda Donovan
Donovan was born in 1979. She studied in France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts d’Aix-en-Provence, before returning to London in 2003 to complete her fine art degree at City and Guilds of London Art School graduating in 2005. Miranda has exhibited in group shows at The New Art Gallery, Walsall; The Bowery, New York, The Public, West Bromwich, curated from the Frank Cohen collection, and Lazarides Gallery, London where she had her first solo show in 2007.
Her work includes a n ongoing collaboration with celebrated restaurateur Mark Hix, designing artwork for his venues’ menus. Donovan has also been commissioned to construct a mobile which hangs alongside Damien Hirst’s and Anthony Gormley’s at Hix’s restaurant in Soho, and more recently several artworks for his new venture Hix Belgraves. Donovan brings a new approach to the urban art scene based in her interest in the possibilities of the sculpted and painted space. At times the influence of Cy Twombley, Anthony Tapies and Gerhard Richter are apparent.