Bruce Backhouse, Mirror


David Krut Projects is pleased to host an exhibition of watercolour monotypes – created in the David Krut Print Workshop (DKW) with longtime DKW collaborator and esteemed artist, Bruce Backhouse. The show, titled MIRROR, runs from Saturday, November 15, into the new year. We look forward to seeing you there.

Backhouse is well known for his watercolour paintings. In these, as well as in several earlier works created at the David Krut Print Workshop (DKW), his figures and settings have tended towards the satirical. This satire is carried through to his latest works but is now applied in a self-reflexive manner, through the motif of the mirror that appears in many of the prints. Despite this self-contemplation, however, there is a lightheartedness about the series. Backhouse has clearly enjoyed creating this work and has relished the flexibility the medium allows. The prints themselves range from small to very large – some of them over a metre wide. These large works are amongst the biggest prints made at DKW and they have introduced a freedom and expansiveness into Backhouse’s printmaking.

The process of watercolour monotypes allows the artist to build layers, textures and effects that cannot normally be achieved through simply applying watercolours directly to paper. Backhouse has made excellent use of the layers, showing off the different effects by varying the tonal qualities of the images. The beautiful liquidity and alternately striking and sombre colours draw the viewer into each work. By adding crayon to already-bold colours, Backhouse lends extra vivacity to the works. He also manages to create strong contrasts between backgrounds that are loose and abstract, and foregrounds peopled with crisply rendered figures. This body of work shows Backhouse successfully exploring the many possibilities of the medium.
David Krut Projects.

Collaboration History 

Backhouse’s recent work at DKW deals mainly with landscapes in the form of watercolour monotypes. Backhouse aims to blur the line between realism and abstraction, drawing much of his influence from Rothko. He incorporates abstract colour fields into recognisable South African landscapes. Backhouse feels that fusing the two disciplines is important as it does not challenge one to think in terms of clichés, nor does it allow one to overlook the intention of the artwork

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