Barry Newis b.1939, Field Near Harleston No. 2, Oil on board, 61 x 68.5 cm.
Barry Newis follows in the British tradition of impasto painting, exemplified by artists such as Bomberg, Kossoff and Auerbach. His use of paint however is his own, working three-dimensionally, adding or removing layers of paint to imbue the landscape with a tangible sense of physical structure. “Barry Newis’s monumental paintings are immediate and need very little explanation - the images, application and palette are all equal in importance and affect.
Marks are directional, purposeful, not used for futile excess, not extravagant - they are sculptural - they form the objects, making them solid and immoveable, giving a sense of real depth and space.
The subject matter is defined by his brush marks, scratchings and scorings which could be read as an attack upon the surface. There is a frisson of fear lurking somewhere - the choice of palette and the perceived isolation emphasise this.
The paintings speak to me, it feels as if the artist has taken hold of the landscape and moulded the forms, the hills are not only painted on the surface, you can feel the mass beneath which the marks then scratch over. It is as if he has an intimate acquaintance with the subject and perceives every undulation, almost as if looking at whole things but through a close-up lens.
Barry’s works evoke an emotional response in me - I am aware of struggles, passion, truth, no tricks, no cheating”
Angela Wright, 2011
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