The Crossover

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9. David Mullen

A New Leaf

Estimate: £900 - 1,400

The Crossover - Lot 9, David Mullen, A New Leaf

Signed, dated and titled ‘A New leaf’ (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
90 x 50 cm.
Painted in 2018

The brushstrokes in A New Leaf allude to the form of a popular houseplant, Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue.

A New Leaf  is the first of a series of paintings in which formerly abstract gestures are re-configured as botanical forms. The single brush strokes become a stand in for a plant, rather than aiming to depict the plant accurately. The artist says of his work "Having always seen myself as an abstract painter, A New Leaf marks a return to a kind of loose figuration in my practice. This painting is about re-contextualising the large gestural abstract brush mark."

This interest in plants, along with a desire to reduce the waste created as a by-product of his paintings, has recently led to a radical shift in David's practice. "My ambition is to create oil paintings that could be biodegradable and non-toxic. This has allowed me to cultivate my long-standing interest in colour and the materiality of paint, by forcing me to use natural earth pigments and organic pigments synthesised from plants, such as woad, weld and madder." 

A New Leaf marks the start of this consideration of paintings impact on our environment. 


David has a BA in Painting Camberwell College of Arts and a MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths. He has taught Fine Art and is currently shortlisted for the HIX award 2019.

The Crossover - Lot 9, David Mullen, A New Leaf

12 Oct Oct 12

Candid Arts, 3 Torrens St, London EC1V 1NQ