Skip to main content
John Devane: Paintings at 60 Threadneedle St. London

John Devane: Paintings at 60 Threadneedle St. London

Project team

John Devane

Duration of project

12 January - 20 May 2018

Project overview

John Devane: Paintings is a solo exhibition of fourteen paintings on canvas, which resulted from practice research into ‘imagination’ as a synthesis of iconography and the material in painting. The exhibition, at 60 Threadneedle St, London ran from 12th January 2018 until mid-May 2018 and was selected and curated by VJB ARTS.

This project comprises a series of fourteen paintings produced as an exploration of ‘imagination’ as a synthesis of the iconographic and the material, in the context of the use of digital reproductions of source materials (here film stills). The research aimed to use two-dimensional source material, including film still and historic painting sourced digitally, to re-imagine them through the act of painting; and to mirror, and reflect upon, film narrative and drama through the use of sequence and improvisation.

Contextual research involved critical exploration, from the perspective of the practice researcher, of recent and contemporary figurative painters, in particular Odd Nerdrum and Lucian Freud, and their use of source material and how this is expressed through the painted surface. The principal methods were a technique of improvisation, akin to collage as transcription, intended to disrupt the fictional spatial setting, and a painting process that keeps the work in a state of flux. These are coupled with the use of irony in images selection (here the use of film stills from Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover (1989)).

This body of work was able to successfully explore the importance of the application of physical layers of paint in contributing to significance within a picture, to convey a necessary sense of physicality, and to evoke fascination with the handmade and haptic world as part of visual imagination. The notions of touch and chance emerged as essential to the principle of ‘imagination’ as a synthesis of iconography and material. The work was exhibited at 60 Threadneedle St, London, from 12th January 2018 until 20th May 2018, with a further series shown at 10 Gresham Street, The Mall Galleries, and Thames-Side Gallery.

List of outputs

Devane, J. (Artist). (2018). John Devane: Paintings. Exhibition.

Cover image credit: The reception, oil on canvas, 2017, 122cm x 153cm.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023