Flowers East's highly acclaimed survey of British figurative painting this summer amply demonstrated the continuing vibrancy of the genre. One of the highpoints of the show was Tai-Shan Schierenberg's superb five-foot high portrait head of his friend James Reed. His new show promises many other spectacular paintings such as this, as well as beautiful smaller scale works.
Schierenberg's intimate portraits of family and friends, his well-publicised portrait commissions of John Mortimer, Lord Carrington and the Queen and Prince Phillip and his subtle landscapes convey a remarkable insight into the content - psychological and aesthetic - of his work. These instinctive visual images refuse to betray the plasticity of the medium. Unlike Freud, Schierenberg sees the paint as simultaneously flesh and paint. It is both abstract and realist: edgy and sensitive; grand and inconclusive; violent and melancholic; physically intense, and aesthetically detached.