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Gallery Oldham, Manchester

Step into the picture

Solo show 9th July - 25th September 2011

50+ paintings shown

Artista girovago, Paul Critchley porta avanti da più di dieci anni un progetto decisamente curioso. Il pittore inglese ha deciso di ricostruire la realtà. Sì, ma da un punto di vista, inevitabilmente, pittorico.

Fino al 25 settembre in quel di Oldham, in Inghilterra.

oil painting

Little Brother Is Watching You, 60 x 50 cm

Il concetto di simulacro è uno dei più complessi, studiati e discussi degli ultimi cinquant’anni. Un concetto che si lega, inscindibilmente, al rapporto – a volte insoluto, altre solubile – tra realtà e rappresentazione. Se l’iperrealismo ha dato una risposta che oscilla a tratti tra l’uno e l’altro termine, Paul Critchley (Rainford, 1960) decide di porsi nel mezzo. La sua ricerca sulla luce lo porta a segnarne le traiettorie reali, ma esse sono pur sempre dipinte. I suoi oggetti sono apribili, scrutabili, ma non utilizzabili (a parte gli specchi).

L’utilizzabilità è un altro termine fondamentale per l’artista, che sembra cercare un ibrido tra la tela, la mobilia e un loro punto di raccordo situato tra la seconda e terza dimensione. È proprio in quel punto, a cui Critchley è arrivato mantenendo la dimensione prospettica, si che trova il senso del suo ultimo progetto: la totale ricostruzione di un ambiente vitale, in cui tutto si rincorre silenziosamente, e nel quale sembra celebrarsi l’esistenza di un satellite che, come ogni essere vivente e come la casa di Georg Schneider, si muove tra vita e morte.

Gianmaria de Lisio


Beyond Super - Reality

Itinerant artist Paul Critchley has been developing a decidedly curious project for more than 10 years. The English painter has decided to reconstruct reality; inevitably from a pictorial point of view.

 Gallery Oldham, England until 25th September.

The concept of resemblance is a complex one that has been studied and discussed over the last 50 years. The concept links, inseparably, the relationship - sometimes resolved and other times not - between reality and representation. If hyper-realism has given us a response which fluctuates between one or other extreme, Paul Critchley (Rainford, 1960) has decided to put himself in the centre. His research has taken him on the tracks of reality, but these are always painted. His objects can be opened and scrutinized but not used (apart from the mirrors). 

Usability is another fundamental term for the artist who seems to be looking for a hybrid between canvas and furniture which have their meeting point somewhere between 2D and 3D. It is at this point, to which Critchley has arrived maintaining the perspective dimension, that one sees the sense of his latest project; the total reconstruction of a living environment in which everything happens silently and in which the existence of this satellite is celebrated and, as with every living being and as in the house of Georg Schneider, one moves between life and death.

The Doctor’s Lunchtime Appointment, 150 x 175 cm



Paul Critchley furnishes a house with over 50 of his life-sized paintings in a 3D installation filled with 2D objects. The paintings of furniture and items ordinarily found in any home work together as elements of a single composition; in fact, Critchley, known for his plays on perspective, has supplied the space with the entire contents of a house. The effect is a delicious cross between being in a funhouse and a dream just out of reach.

Sabbine Modder


Kitchen Sink Drama, 195 x 175 cm

St. Helens Star

Artist Paul does a spot of interior decoration

A ST HELENS artist is giving ‘Kitchen Sink Realism’ a whole new meaning with an innovative exhibition over in Oldham.

Still life, in particular the objects found around the typical home, is a recurrent theme of Paul Critchley’s artwork; he is particularly skilled at arranging his subjects in creative ways to give his rooms personality, ranging from the bleak to the bright to the bizarre.

His latest project is set to bring still life not quite literally to life.

The installation features more than 50 paintings that work together to form one immense composition. Each image is a life-size painting of a usual household item; together they display the entire interior of a house.

“The installation didn't start out as it is now but as a set of individual paintings of objects in the house”, said Paul from Rainford, “I’d been painting doors and windows which can be opened, and was looking to develop that idea. I painted a wardrobe with the door and that gave me the idea to paint a sideboard with a mirror – I started painting typical household objects.

“During an exhibition in 2003 I saw them together – I had inadvertently created an environment.”

Unlike traditional paintings of an interior, this is a curious marriage of 2D and 3D; an artwork the viewer can actually step into and experience. Paul, whose father Harold was principal of the former St Helens College of Art and Design, spent nine years on the work alongside other projects; the oldest painting dates back to 2002.

He said: “Feedback so far has been positive, largely because it's not some obscure installation that appeals to the few. It’s accessible to many people – it’s a house, after all, and everyone understands it.”

Kelsey Pilkington