Graham Boyd


Catalogue introduction by Sam Cornish

'Running through the art of Graham Boyd is a desire to capture and draw our attention to light and colour, particularlyto their fugitive or transient qualities and how these can alter our perception of space. Like those of Cook, Boyd's paintings in the exhibition are sprayed, a technique he began experimenting with in the early seventies whilst teaching at at the University of New Hampshire. His adoption of spray paint hark back to the abstract Divisionist pictures he had made in the late fifties and early sixties under the influence of Mondrian's PIER AND OCEAN series and the ' liberation' of the Abstract Expressionist paintings he saw at the Tate in1956.

More generally it marked a return to two-dimensional art, after the constructions he made on the cusp of the sixties and seventies in which grids and industrial materials were often open to manipulation, forming shifting patterns of light. On occasions Boyd used photography to record these changes in light, photographing one sculpture over a period of months as it was gradually subsumed into the vegetation of his garden. .

Documentation continued to play a part in his work;at an early exhibition of his spray paintings he presented a slide show which showed the gradual evolution of a painting as spray was slowly layered upon it. Particularly when seen in comparison to the lively and decorative painterly abstraction he has made since the early eighties, there is a quasi-scientific feel to DESCENDER ( 1976 ) and CIRCUIT ( 1977 ), a sense of careful and detached experiment.
In DESCENDER the glowing colour that filters through the bars merges objectivity with sensuality, while in CIRCUIT the vortex of lines shooting toward the centre contradict care and detachment in a much more diisruptive manner.