Mark Francis

New Paintings
September 11 − October 23, 2010

On Friday, 10th of September 2010, Galerie Thomas Schulte will open a large scale exhibition dedicated to the paintings of Mark Francis, the artist’s third solo show to be held at the gallery.

Mark Francis’ works play with a visual reality that sways between painterly process and an imaginary spatiality using motifs borrowed from the world of optical, acoustic, and biological phenomena. Francis developed this significant painterly style in the 1990s. Although in thematic terms at some distance from the other Young British Artists, he can be included as one of the key figures of this important period in British art. He was thus already presented to the Berlin audience in 1998 in the exhibition Sensation held at Hamburger Bahnhof.

Mark Francis’ paintings were originally based on scientific microbiological images of cell structures and bacteria. These images determined the structure and open composition of his work. The softness of this wet-on-wet technique allowed the objects in the image to almost disappear beneath the image surface, and thus pushed all stringent, clinical connotations to the background.

In recent years, Francis has refined this style to a great degree. The motifs in his works have become more self-referential and compositional, and color aspects have moved to the foreground. At the same time, Francis discovered new sources for his motifs that lend the paintings an even more filigreed quality. Particularly in the works painted this past year, a strict graphic visual structure has been introduced that grants the works an almost mathematical exactitude.