Exhibition review: Boyd and Evans Paintings at Flowers Gallery

25 February 2013

Exhibition review: Boyd and Evans Paintings at Flowers Gallery

"Boyd and Evans' artistic partnership began in 1968 and has seen the pair explore the jungles of Borneo, cross the American South West and delve into British hinterlands. This exhibition surveys their work from the late 60s and early 70s when the pair experimented with spray painted acrylic, stencils and brush work and contemporary pieces, which are both painterly and photographic in their realism.

Indeed photography has played a huge part in their work, evident in this exhibition from the "snap shot" compositions of truncated legs and trees seemingly growing from people's heads. However, the duo prefer the term "narrative painting" to photorealism,

There is a psychological element also apparent, a mood of foreboding, most obviously portrayed in the paintingBlink(1972), which appears to directly reference Hitchcock'sThe Birds.Indeed the main exhibition space is full of cinematic mystery.The Scene of the Crime,painted in 1971, depicts a ghostly woman screaming in a hallway, while another translucent figure floats behind her. Crime Storycould almost be a still taken from a 70s crime thriller.

Boyd and Evans' later paintings are less obviously cinematic but nevertheless employ psychological undertones. The upstairs gallery displays a series of works depicting lone individuals who stand in tense relation to their surroundings.A Dog's Lifepresents us with an image of a man standing perilously close to a cliff's edge, leaning forward and presumably calling to his dog that is also looking over the edge. SimilarlyBlack Hilldepicts a man in a rain coat looking out over a marshy landscape, with storm clouds brewing overhead.

Boyd and Evans' paintings present us with snapshots of unexplained narratives and tensions - with glimpses of what may be to come. These themes are well explored in the exhibition. Laid out in three distinctive rooms, all highlighting a different aspect of the duo's work. One can clearly to see a progression, without the exhibition seeming dictated by chronology."

Verdict: ●●●●                                                                                                           

Emily Spicer

theupcoming.co.uk