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Miranda Donovan's urban art at The Outsider gallery

— March 2013

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Miranda Donovan, Nothing Lasts Forever II

‘Walls’ is the third exhibition that Miranda Donovan (b. 1979) has held at the Lazarides gallery.  It sees the London-based artist’s work evolving along the path set by previous shows, ‘Lost World of Innocence’ and ‘The Home Unleashed’, into a highly cohesive vision.

Donovan’s work fuses an exploration into sculpture and colour with a dedication to the possibilities and practice of painting, to create her own style of ‘urban’ art. She says that her works are manifestations of the melancholic march of time.

For this exhibition, Donovan will present over 20 paintings, all of which return to her fascination with walls. This time they are often life-size in scale. The larger works are characterized by their three dimensional quality, seen here to an even greater extent than in her previous work, built up in layers of resin, foam, plaster and paint. The textural and tactile aspects are very apparent in the larger works, which are essentially ‘sculptural paintings’. They hang on the wall but are often 10cm deep in thickness.

Owing to the sheer physicality and weightiness of these larger pieces, on initial glance these works may seem to the viewer to be walls literally hacked out from their surroundings and displayed in a gallery – but in fact they are sculptures, where even the bricks are fabricated, reproduced in a super-real style. Liberated and uncompromising, they reveal a level of sophistication and confidence perhaps not immediately apparent in Donovan’s previous work.

The smaller pieces averaging 40cm x 40cm often represent segments of cracked plaster walls. These are framed in Perspex boxes lending them an archaeological, almost bijou feel blurring the line between art and artefact. Nothing Lasts Forever II (pictured above) is one of the larger pieces on display. The inspiration came from a large section of green and grey wall with white tiles revealing themselves where the plaster had cracked away.

Initially I reproduced the wall faithfully – then I replaced the tiles with another linear pattern, London bricks. The linearity of the bricks is broken up by the irregularity of the plaster. The wall has begun to age and crack.  Man and the elements have left their mark. Just as this fabricated wall evolved over time the wall that had initially inspired mewould have undergone its own changes. Nothing lasts forever! Our world constantly changes and evolves whether through man’s influence or nature taking its own course. Man is so often looking to newer, better and bigger ideas yet so often beauty can be seen in the simplest of things – in my case, a brick wall.

22 March – 20 April 2013
Open Tuesday – Saturday 11a.m.– 7p.m.
The Outsiders, 8 Greek Street, London W1D 4DG
Admission free

Miranda Donovan was born in 1979. She studied in France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts d’Aix-en-Provence, before returning to London in 2003 to complete her fine art degree at City and Guilds of London Art School graduating in 2005. Miranda has exhibited in group shows at The New Art Gallery, Walsall; The Bowery, New York, The Public, West Bromwich, curated from the Frank Cohen collection, and Lazarides Gallery, London where she had her first solo show in 2007.
Her work includes a current collaboration with celebrated restaurateur Mark Hix, designing artwork for his venues’ menus. Donovan has also been commissioned to construct a mobile which hangs alongside Damien Hirst’s and Anthony Gormley’s at Hix’s restaurant in Soho, and more recently several artworks for the new venture Hix Belgraves.
Donovan brings to the urban art scene a new approach based on her interest in the possibilities of the sculpted and painted space. At times the influences of Cy Twombly, Anthony Tapies and Gerhard Richter are apparent.

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