Reuben Colley new paintings

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R E U B E N C O L L E Y | N E W P A I N T I N G S

In much of his recent work, Reuben

Colley has been exploring the

blurred boundaries between the

natural and urban worlds. In this

collection nature breaks through

everywhere. Trees flourish between

the tower blocks and blossom in

profusion among the box-like

maisonettes. Communal rotary

clothes lines sprout from the lawn,

defiantly competing with an

ornamental cherry tree. Colley gives

us modern nature.

Reuben Colley is working at the

height of his powers in representing

these neglected spaces. As a painter

of landscape, and urban landscape in

particular, he takes his place within a

long art historical tradition. There is

a hint of Gainsborough about the

softness of the trees in these

paintings, which contrasts

powerfully with the strong geometry

of many of the compositions.

Mondrian, famous for his grid

patterns, began by painting trees,

finding abstract patterns in their

branches. Colley finds rich material

in the ready-made grids of fences,

barriers, garage doors and tower

block windows.

Colour can be in short supply on a

housing estate on a grey, rainy day,

but Colley finds it in unexpected

places and uses it to provide exciting

little accents, just as Turner might

have done. We find vibrant yellow

in a traffic bollard, blue in the garage

doors, and of course pink, not just in

the glorious cherry trees but also in

the graffiti tags.

These are paintings that offer us

something new each time we view

them. They also invite us to take a

fresh look at our own environment,

and to embrace every neglected

corner of it.

Henrietta Lockhart

Blossom 1 | Oil on canvas | 122 x 99 cm


Blossom 2 | Oil on canvas | 122 x 99 cm


Blossom 3 | Oil on canvas | 76 x 61 cm


Blossom 4 | Oil on canvas | 76 x 61 cm


Bradford Street | Oil on canvas | 152 x 122 cm


Car Park | Oil on canvas | 76 x 61 cm


Estate | Oil on canvas | 122 x 99 cm


Tower Block | Oil on canvas | 122 x 99 cm


Underpass | Oil on canvas | 102 x 81 cm


Nova Court | Oil on canvas | 122 x 99 cm


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