Ian Healy

 

Ian Healy would have to concede that his paintings before this exhibition owed much to William Crozier's stylised landscapes. For this, his second offering, Healy has developed a more personalised vocabulary, stamping his own name on nine of the 10 paintings on view. This evolution has led to an even greater distillation of natural features, as he isolates forms within the landscape, placing them against flat, non-referential backdrops.

The forms are identifiable as poplar trees, rocks and mountains, modelled by scraping or smearing translucent sap greens and burnt umbers to reveal pale canvas beneath.

These are pitched against opaque swathes of intense cobalt, orange, red, and white, which envelop the central components listed above. The balance between colour, form and texture is well considered, as tensions arise when these elements battle for compositional priority.

Furthermore, the compositional formats are straightforward, more often than not leaning toward ordered symmetry.

In Poplar II, this tendency reaches culmination as the tree named in the title is fixed centrally within the painting, its dominance establishing an air of iconic formalism. This impetus for form above spatial representation is entirely successful - but as a consequence - it overshadows paintings which do not conform to its purist ideals.

For instance, Idyllic introduces suggestions of actual space, but does not provide the requisite detail needed to support such overtures toward three-dimensionality. Overall, the newly applied maxim of "less is more" has certainly paid off.

Closing 31st Oct