Hugh Mendes

Obituary: Francesca Lowe

2017

Oil on linen, 30 x 20cm

I have been painting images of newspaper clippings for about ten years now. They are essentially Still Life paintings. The use of newspaper clippings provides a very flat spatial field, recalls certain trompe l’oile 17th century still life and can deal directly with contemporary issues such as cloning and terrorism. These are contemporary manifestations of the timeless themes of birth and death. The act of painting and therefore sustained concentration brings a degree of focus and depth to what otherwise would be fleeting moments in the press.

I am currently working on an ongoing, and never ending, series of obituaries. Obituaries condense a life into a few column inches and a single image – a scrap of newsprint that becomes a heavy token, a memento, even an icon, when rendered in paint. Within this series I have been concentrating recently on obituaries of artists. This has included some of my teachers and mentors, but painting Fran, a friend and contemporary, has been a completely new departure, somewhat heartfelt and poignant to say the least.

COLLECTIONS, Ahmansen Foundation,  Los Angeles, Jerry Hall, London, Bill Wyman, London, Kenny Schachter, London, Angela Nikolakopoulou, London, Werner Grubb, London, Kelsey Offield Ford, Los Angeles, Wendy Asher,  Los Angeles, Mauritz Huntzinger, Frankfurt, Peter Nobel, Zurich, Reydan Weiss, Bremen, Steve Shane, New York, Wooster Projects, New York, Private collections in China, Germany, UK & USA