France-Lise McGurn: Percussia review

4 out of 5 stars
France-Lise McGurn: Percussia review
Image courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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The paintings have leached off the canvas in France-Lise McGurn’s exhibition. They’ve spread across the walls: her nude, imagined figures have been left sprawled throughout the gallery like they’ve come alive in the night and frozen on sight, like in that Ben Stiller movie in the museum, but a lot more naked.

It’s uncomplicated but very pretty art. With perfectly confident brushstrokes, McGurn delineates the bare essence of the forms she depicts. A single curve traces a line from the crook of the knee to the base of the neck, a smudge of red is lips, a smear of blue is an eye. It’s all soft colours: fleshy inks, sunny yellows. Her faces are statuesque, halfway between Grecian busts and 1920s make-up ads.

But what makes them good is the sense of intimacy they emit. These feel like visions from McGurn’s mind, snapshots of fantasies and imaginations. Just as the figures have moved off the canvas and on to the walls, you feel like they’re about to leap straight into your mind. These aren’t especially thrilling works. But they’re lovely, intoxicating paintings that drag you into their intimate world, and you might never want to leave.


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