Blots, Stains and Smears


Mark Joyce, Iain Nicholls, William Gharraie
Organised by Phillip Allen

3 – 23 December 2011
Preview: Friday 2 December 6-9pm



Blots, Stains and Smears, organised by Phillip Allen, is the third in an on-going series of exhibitions that focus on particular aspects of contemporary painting.

Reflecting Allen's taste for highly articulate painting, the selected artists, Mark Joyce, Iain Nicholls and William Gharraie all employ, in varying degrees, the transformative potential of paint. These painter's painters remain vigilant in their individual investigations revealing fresh and often witty approaches that, brought together, examine the heavy syntax of abstraction.


Iain Nicholls’s paintings continually jar against there own making. About the paintings Iain says:
 ‘Paintings are both windows into a space and flat as well, whatever the subject or lack of. This is an old problem. Another one is how to balance your own dictating will against the will of the painting - in both instances, how far do you go either way? Balancing these opposites, in both cases, to me, is the real, deeper subject. It brings out truth in painting (as far as this is possible) And if it is done right, this stops being problem solving and becomes like playing, and a way of learning something new.’


Mark Joyce's glaring colours glow from a gesso ground, referring to the physical nature of light and reconsidering colour as an experience and phenomena.



William Gharraie spent a year in Rome as The Abbey Scholar in Painting, 2009-10. His paintings draw from the near abstractions of architectural blueprints and drawings, at the same time teasing his own surfaces into ambiguous figuration.


Blots Stains and Smears is the third in Transition Gallery's ongoing series of shows examaning aspects of contemporary painting, all of which are selected and curated by painters. The first Fade Away curated by Alli Sharma looked at painting that falls between abstraction and figuration and the second Working Against the System curated by Helen Baker featured contemporary system painting. These two exhibitions were the subject of the Transition Editions' book About Painting which contains an essay by Barry Schwarbsky.



Review in Turps Banana by Fin Cullum
Iain Nicholls speaks to Studio Critical