Rachel Howard

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In Howard’s hands paint can be atomised, poured, smeared, scuffed, layered, sprayed, deleted and erased, to achieve the desired 'feeling'. These unapologetically emotional paintings can be either very large in scale or tiny vignettes of tragedy.

British artist Rachel Howard plays with the tensions between control and chaos, order and entropy, making and unmaking, beauty and destruction. She revels in the sheer joy of her material. The intense physicality of her process grapples with notions of uncertainty, fragility, beauty and horror. Over the past 25 years, religion, repetition, mortality, madness and violence have been recurring themes in the work. A student of both Fine Art and Art History, for Howard the use of the endless portal of the internet as a fresh source of constant inspiration and a dialogue with the world around is as essential as the art of the past.

 

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British artist Rachel Howard plays with the tensions between control and chaos, order and entropy, making and unmaking, beauty and destruction. She revels in the sheer joy of her material. The intense physicality of her process grapples with notions of uncertainty, fragility, beauty and horror. Over the past 25 years, religion, repetition, mortality, madness and violence have been recurring themes in the work. A student of both Fine Art and Art History, for Howard the use of the endless portal of the internet as a fresh source of constant inspiration and a dialogue with the world around is as essential as the art of the past.

In Howard’s hands paint can be atomised, poured, smeared, scuffed, layered, sprayed, deleted and erased, to achieve the desired 'feeling'. These unapologetically emotional paintings can be either very large in scale or tiny vignettes of tragedy. Howard often displays an irreverence for her material, for example in the 1990s and early 2000s she used only household gloss paint, wanting to humanise this functional medium used mainly for painting doors and windows, using gravity as an invisible paintbrush to achieve the desired effect. It relieved her of the piety of traditional oil paint and was a nod to her heroes, the Abstract Expressionists of the not too distant past.

The last decade has seen Howard return to oil paint albeit with a design to manipulate the material in an obtuse manner. Here the paint is sprayed and atomised over nets used as gigantic paint brushes producing large alizarin crimson abstract paintings. Smaller works are built up and sanded back, grids are constructed with oil paint and a T-square that are then are unpicked and destroyed with turps, gravity and varnish creating a palimpsest, suspending the action in time. In another ongoing series, Howard repeatedly paints a view of a walkway through a wood close to her home, creating works that shift in style, mood and tone as she navigates the scene over the seasons, a mediation on time and space.

Selected Works
Installation Views
See Also
Image: London Calling. British art today. From David Hockney to Idris Khan.

London Calling. British art today. From David Hockney to Idris Khan.

Rachel Howard
Fundación Bancaja, Valencia, Spain
17 June 2021 - 17 October 2021

The London Calling exhibition  British art today. From David Hockney to Idris Khan  brings together the recent work of some twenty British artists of different generations for whom the city of London has played a very important role in their artistic careers.

Image: Tree Teacher Tree

Tree Teacher Tree

Rachel Howard
51°47'38.2"N 2°12'41.5"W
14 May – 17 September 2021

Tree Teacher Tree resides along a public footpath in a secluded hollow, a stream runs close by, the works nestle on the dell floor or amongst the trees, such as Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press’s Rear View Mirror 2020, a reference to what kind of review nature might give mankind. Banner has also placed a flagstone with its own ISBN, it is an official publication in and of itself. Flagstones are usually associated with the city to keep the earth and roots below and things smooth, even and mudless on top, here the woodland floor can grow and envelope the hand engraved stone. Is it a tomb or a tome, or a story about concrete or footsteps or roots or routes taken?

Image: Drawing Biennial 2021

Drawing Biennial 2021

Rachel Howard, Donna Huddleston, France-Lise McGurn, João Penalva
Drawing Room, London, UK
21 May – 5 July 2021

Featuring new and recent works on paper by leading international artists, the Biennial showcases every imaginable technique and represents artists from a range of generations, backgrounds, and heritages.

Image: Doris

Doris

Rachel Howard

Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to introduce Doris, an artist-run magazine edited by British painter Rachel Howard!

Receive information on available works by Rachel Howard