Gillian Carnegie has been nominated for her solo exhibition at Cabinet, London.

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  • Photograph of Gillian Carnegie

    Gillian Carnegie

    Photo: Tarran Burgess

  • Gillian Carnegie installation Turner Prize 2005

    Gillian Carnegie, Installation view,
    Turner Prize 2005 exhibition showing Black Square

    Collection of Rena Conti and Ivan Moskowitz, Brookline, Massachusetts
    Photo: 
    © Tate 2005

  • Gillian Carnegie  Black Square 2002

    Gillian Carnegie
    Black Square 2002
    Oil on canvas

    Collection of Rena Conti and Ivan Moskowitz, Brookline, Massachusetts

  • Gillian Carnegie Red 2004

    Gillian Carnegie
    Red 2004 
    Oil on board

    Cranford Collection, London

  • Gillian Carnegie installation Turner Prize 2005

    Gillian Carnegie, Installation view,
    Turner Prize 2005 exhibition

     
    © Tate 2005

  • Gillian Carnegie Section, 2004

    Gillian Carnegie
    Section 2004
    Oil on canvas 

    Courtesy of Cabinet
    © The Artist

  • Gillian Carnegie Fleurs de huile, 2001

    Gillian Carnegie
    Fleurs de huile 2001

    Courtesy of Cabinet
    © The Artist

Gillian Carnegie works within traditional categories of painting - still life, landscape, the figure and portraiture – with a highly accomplished technique. Yet while apparently following the conventions of representational painting, Carnegie challenges its established languages and unsettles its assumptions.

Carnegie often works in series, returning to the same subject but varying her approach each time. Her ongoing series of ‘bum paintings’ are experiments in composition, light, colour and technique. In other works, Carnegie capitalises on the tension between subject and medium, her brush strokes both affirming and contradicting what they depict. In Waltz I 2005, part of her ongoing series of still lifes, the background drapery breaks down into broad, crude brushstrokes which threaten to overwhelm the carefully worked vase. In Section 2005 the eye is drawn back to the image surface through incongruous marks that seem to serve no descriptive function other than to confuse our perception of space.

Carnegie takes this complex interplay between subject and medium to an extreme in her series of black paintings. These night-time woodland scenes, constructed almost in relief from thickly applied paint, refer explicitly to Kazimir Malevich’s infamous Black Square painting of 1913. But Carnegie offers a retort to the macho, modernist tradition of the monochrome by planting a landscape at its heart. Despite her dingy palette and quiet imagery, her works have a charged energy that brings attention back to the personality manipulating the paint.