Mary Ramsden

There is a depth in the unapologetically painterly works of Mary Ramsden that belies their simplicity. The subtlety in her work and its compositional structure allows for a more thoughtful or sensate connection. The muted tones and slight adjustments in the colour of her pallet encourage contemplation; the viewer is forced to consider every detail, every smudge. As a contemporary abstract painter in a fast paced world of cluttered imagery, her work provides a space for quiet consideration. In the majority of her works one colour field dominates the picture space, with different tones tentatively encroaching at the corners and edges.

The group show From New Perspectives, in which Ramsden was one of the five contemporary abstract painters, the artist exhibited a series of serene canvas works. Ramsden’s paintings in the show continued to provide a pause for reflection, a timelessness emphasised by the multiple layers of paint. Ramsden’s work was later juxtaposed with artists working in other mediums in a 2011 group show at the London gallery Pilar Corrias. Placed in a context with three dimensional and figurative works, Ramsden’s painting punctuated the walls of the gallery where flat saturation of colour wraps the blunt edges of awkwardly shaped boards. Her work is often untitled and characterised by the execution of delicate irregularities and nuances of gesture, partially concealed by glossy blank forms.

For Ramsden’s 2012 solo show at the Pilar Corrias gallery, she created a series of works presented in interrelated groupings. In her works, Ramsden applies layers of paint to the canvas and then wipes them down using rags to create delicate glowing compositions. Her removal technique has been developed to perfection, creating works predominantly through the reversal or cancelling of previous marks. Implicit in this body of work is a tension between the conflicting actions of ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’. The exhibition is made up of quieter meditative works and the bolder more vividly hued containing asymmetrical forms