Untitled 11 (2020)

Eric Cruikshank

Oil on linen on panel


31.5 x 26 cm
Unique piece
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Additional information


Eric Cruikshank

About the artist

Taking the landscape as a starting point, both “Untitled 11” and my paintings are not about a literal presentation. They focus on the emotive qualities of the place. Using an objective palette linked to the Scottish landscape, colour acts as a vehicle to reveal the underlying picture planes as points of reference. With structure, design and colour harmony based on the everyday, the viewer is encouraged to rethink notions of their surroundings. In this way, everything familiar is opened up and filled with possibilities.

Firstly, by taking the works out of the territory of art and traditional values, through process and presentation, a dialogue opens up between the past and the present, the historical and the contemporary. Despite the allusion to social, spiritual and material contexts in the scope of my art, the main criteria always return to the basic constructive elements. Form, colour and surface build the foundational support and elevate the concepts of the works. Thus, the viewer is allowed to discover layers of potential meaning as each element is considered. In the absence of imagery or narrative, the panels are left open to interpretation. All this, as an almost blank plane to reflect the viewer’s own emotions and ideas.

Secondly, by applying the paint in thin layers of colour and using a subtractive technique, the surface is worked into balance. The delicate shapes that remain give the effect of a monochromatic finish when first seen. Through the resulting veil of paint, bright strokes of tone flicker at the edge of the focus. The surface retains the softest luminosity and modulated volume.

The works are then completed with a meticulous level of control, creating a plane that bears no brush marks, eliminating evidence of the artist’s hand and any trace of technique. As the work is approached, the colour pulsates in constantly shifting patterns; as it is withdrawn, these patterns blend, fade and merge into a vibrant continuous field, inviting finely tuned visual attention. The refined shadow and contour lead the eye around the piece, gently engaging the viewer in the act of seeing, where their relationship to the work is one of continual change, as the ethereal surface vibrates with an internal light and rhythm that seems to expand outwards beyond the edge, activating the space around and between the pieces. And that is what we see in “Untitled 11”.