Flowers is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by
the renowned Scottish artist Renny Tait. The show will run from
October 16 through November 15, with an opening reception on
Thursday, October 16, from 6 to 8pm.
Always intrigued by the quality and subtlety of curve and
structure, Renny Tait started experimenting in acrylics and oil at
a young age, translating three-dimensional realities onto
two-dimensional surfaces through the use of color and tone.
Later on, Tait would begin to suppress elements of perspective in
the foreground, establishing a frontal iconic presence for his
Tait's recent works focus more than ever on the simplified
underlying geometry of architectural subjects, eliminating linear
perspective almost entirely, to emphasize the horizontal and
Many of his subjects are immediately recognizable: Venetian
churches, medieval fortresses and Roman ruins are typical motifs.
Hinting beyond a structural functionality, the lighthouse form, in
particular, offers a metaphor for the standing human figure. Set
against the allusive and indeterminate space of the black
background, the subject commands attention with its otherworldly
illumination, inviting the viewer to read the building as a place
Where the subject lacks an obvious beauty of its own, Tait's
mastery of lighting and composition works a strange, potent magic,
allowing normally prosaic buildings like grain silos and power
stations to happily hold their pediments high in the architectural firmament.
There is something a little unsettling about this leveling of
the aesthetic hierarchy, but the work is all the better for it.
Tait conjures up an eerie architectural utopia where all buildings
are created equally. By displacing each one into a featureless,
uninhabited wilderness, by banishing all sense of scale through his
universal head-on perspective, and by illuminating every subject
with the same heavenly glow, Tait forces the viewer to re-evaluate
the whole notion of archetypal beauty.
Tait employs a deliberately limited palette, achieving a wide
range of tonal and chromatic values without sacrificing the overall
unity of each painting. The predominant earth tones in works such
as Dubrovnic,2014 are reflective of a certain austerity of
taste that was popular in 17th century Spain, invoking
quasi-religious connotations. A horizontal band of unmodulated
light traverses the background of several works, further adding to
their unearthly quality.
According to the late Robert Heller, Renny Tait's paintings,
"with their virtuoso technique, bridge the worlds of classicism and
abstraction. The later influences - Mondrian, Morandi, Barnett
Newman - blend comfortably with the very different worlds of
Bellini and Wren to form Tait's own mysteriously depopulated
universe of colour harmonies and glowing light. They remind the
viewer in calm but seductive terms of two important truths: that
all art is abstract, and that neither beauty nor painting is dead."
Renny Tait was born in Scotland and studied at the Edinburgh
College of Art, the Royal College of Art, London, and the British
School in Rome. His work is included in a number of private and
public collections including the Royal College of Art and the Tate Collection.