I like Tim Stoner's paintings. I like the way he paint roughly. The colour he uses is attractive.
Objects and figures are made up by organic gestures. The content is about everyday leisure life.
Nothing in his painting make me feel stressful. Human figures reveal in every paintings, which add to the liveliness. The figures are still, but the background is changing, where the energy grathering.
‘A ring of dancers in some kind of national costume dancing under the bunting in the street, and a circle of cabaret dancers in high heels, hoofing through a routine in blue, hazy stagelight. Outlined in fierce penumbras of light, in both paintings the figures are immobilised in some strangely incandescent moment. The paintings have almost no discernible surface, there are no gestures, the light is too fierce. The figures are coruscated silhouettes. The subject of Stoner’s work is light, and how painting both creates an illusory space and destroys it with its flatness. The figures imply movement and rhythm, but in painting this is impossible. The dance in painting - think Poussin, Renoir and Matisse - is always about this paradox between immobility and movement, time and timelessness. It is all just an accretion on the surface. What complex paintings they are. They make you realise what a rich, deceptive, unfinished business painting is.’
Get the picture: ‘Brockley’ by Tim Stoner
A painting by the artist Tim Stoner is the featured artwork of this month’s column
Tim Stoner is a painter’s painter, and his new series, currently showing at Modern Art gallery, is a feast of painting languages and histories.
Determinedly straightforward and reflexive in impulse and expression, Stoner’s paintings can be described as happenings.
It is the collision of different elements from different angles that makes them happen. Here is an artist most interested in those elements that are in tension, where there is a fight, a battle or an antagonistic problem in the painting that has to be worked against.
In Brockley (2015), the interior of a café pictorially echoes Stoner’s first studio at Norwich School of Art (the detail of the table on the left). Different layers and ‘absences’ play off against each other. The outline of distant houses and the interior of the room seem ‘real’, or at least hold more naturalistic information than the floating circular table.
The other tables are more ‘empty’ and play with the perspectival opening up of the space. Colour takes on an individual and autonomous character. The figure on the left brims with a radiant red, while parcelled or sectioned spaces of the painting tell their own stories.
Memory is a material of these paintings, part of a drive toward essentialism and sensory attentiveness. It is reflected in the clarity of the drawing and confidence in the selection of essential details included or taken out.
Brockley recalls the reflective interior light of Rembrandt’s Philosopher in Meditation (1632) while in conscious dialogue with the ‘caveman’.
In common with many of Stoner’s paintings, it flips between intertwining, figurative compositional meaning and the abstract, sensorial meaning of the effect of colour or shape.