Paul Housley - Factory to Factory
LONDON-based artist Paul Housley says he always likes to acknowledge his debt to past masters.
“Painting in particular is a complex interwoven language that morphs between genres, styles and time lines,” he says. “Engaging with the past helps me learn and move within this language.”
Housley’s latest solo show opens today (Friday) at Sid Motion, the new independent gallery in King’s Cross.
Sidonie Motion, Artistic Programme & Communications Manager of Photo London, opened her gallery in a former betting shop in early June. She says: “The focus of the gallery is to exhibit new and emerging artists from London and further afield, working in different media. It is a very exciting time to be in the area, and to bring a programme of contemporary exhibitions to King’s Cross.”
Artists who have already exhibited there include Lawrence Corby, Kate Hawkins, Damien Meade, Vincent Hawkins and Sophie Mackfall in a group show, Francesca Longhini and Michelle Conway together, and a first solo show for Morgan Wills.
Housley’s works include paintings and sculptures. This new exhibition is titled Factory to Palace (see picture, right) and will run at the gallery until December 23.
The gallery says the artist is known for incorporating art historical references into his work and “melding traditional genres” of portraiture, still life and landscape.
The image of the factory in these latest pieces “pays homage to the artist’s early background, the industrial landscape of Greater Manchester”.
Born in 1964 in Stalybridge, he studied at Tameside College and Sheffield City Polytechnic and took his masters in painting at the Royal College of Art in 1995. Housley has recently had solo shows in Berlin, Copenhagen, and Vancouver as well as Britain.
He says: “ In some ways the ‘subject’ matter is the least important aspect of making the work, it is to some extent just something to hang the paint on. I tend to go for simple universal motifs, even possibly banal, putting emphasis on the material reality of the work rather than the image. I often talk of blending genres, referring to the ‘portrait of the object’.”
He says Picasso is a constant for him, a “big beast” and he is striving to “climb into the belly of the ‘beast’ and come out the other side”.
Paul Housley will speak in conversation with author and commentator Melanie Gerlis on December 7 at 7pm. To reserve a place, contact [email protected] gallery.co.uk
• Factory to Palace | Paul Housley, until December 23, is at Sid Motion Gallery, 142 York Way, N1 0AX. Open Thursday to Sunday, noon to 6pm, www.sidmotiongallery.co.uk