14. Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings
Medium: oil on canvas
Execution date: 2019
Dimensions: 130 x 130 unframed
£15,000 - 22,000
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Highly acclaimed collaborative artists Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings are internationally renowned for their works on canvas and in mosaic. A team of two, their oil paintings are about colour, light and perception. They use a mute, blank, intricate form – a series of triangles in a grid – not as an idea in itself, or as a quote from life, but as an inert container for colour. Meaning is everywhere – it’s hard to avoid. Representation looms up in spite of Biggs' and Collings' intentions, but they aim to examine what the world looks like if you take away familiar forms with their confusing narrative resonances, and substitute a neutral, complex structure. It’s landscape painting without the landscape (the kind of landscape it would be, if there were one, would be urban rather than rural).
They believe that painting today is in some kind of crisis – what is the point of an antiquated form in a world where representation is ubiquitous? Their answer comes from looking at painting's place of origin: the history of art, and a by-product of art’s original symbolic and depictive intentions: beauty. Hence the title of this work (as with all their recent works) comes from the Book of Genesis – whose origin myths are integral to Christian, Jewish and Islamic history, and whose tales inform early Western depiction.
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