2001 – Works on Paper

Paul Newcombe is an abstract painter who works in acrylic on both paper and canvas.

The artist has always had a preoccupation with personal symbols and this is particularly evident in his earlier works. The works Newcombe creates display a playful quality and one of experimentation.  What may appear as repetitive is, on closer inspection, a continuing investigation that explores his moving and personal artistic quest. These symbols are created in an unknown language – and this language is strong in Newcombe’s work.  Previously his painting concentrated on content but now he is enjoying working with colour and composition.

Newcombe works frenetically and instinctively, and the painting is seen as a continuum – each work following on from the previous work.

The current exhibition concentrates on Paul’s commitment to paper- a medium that provides a freer expression, an immediacy that only paper can provide. The works in this exhibition are part of a ‘game’ and the marks that feature in these works have been around for a long time. Dashes, splodges, slashes, quick flicks and layers of paint & washes are all formed in an uncontrolled environment. 

“These marks are organic and part of the process of making the works and the run-offs which form, are not a statement, they are just part of the process.”

They are, in a way, Newcombe’s trade mark.  They are not intentionally created, the very nature of these marks is random & haphazard.  There is a particular immediacy in the use of paper as the medium in these current works.  Newcombe is able to create works with more freedom and in his words “form an intentional discussion”.  Newcombe understands and is able to explore the response of paint on paper. This understanding is evident in these works and has allowed the artist to have a dialogue with the medium. It has enabled him to work “fast” allowing a response to the bleed of paint and the soak of paper.

The works have a layered complexity that is formed through the application of a number of layers of paint.  There is an intensity that is inherent in these works and they clearly show the passion that the artist has for his work.

July 2001,
Dierdre O’Driscoll