Galerie Rath, Cologne
Paul Critchley is exhibiting his paintings with the theme of "New Dimensions”
Critchley's works open up new perspectives for the viewer, initially in a purely painterly-spatial sense.
The distorting play with spaces and objects of reality, however, creates a space that takes on a surreal character in its inherent lawfulness. The "new dimensions" are new dimensions of everyday reality and open up a new view of it.
Bruno F. Schneider
Dolls House with Bed and Bathtub; Relief Paintings by Paul Critchley
The paintings give a view rather like that from the top looking down into unfolded dolls houses, furnished with beds, cupboards, tables, baths and laundry hung on the clothes-line in the drying-room. The whole is brought together within an irregular shaped frame, giving the paintings a relief character.
The American Frank Stella also started with similar table-objects, but this British artist Paul Critchley (born 1960) follows him only in the formal way. What is happening on these irregular bordered planes, is more of a psychodrama, or better still, what could be happening, for there is not really that much actually occurring: A mouse on the floor is playing with a rose, the artist is sitting or standing in the bath and a Setter is discontentedly guarding a carelessly discarded black lace bra.
The viewer is at liberty to use his own imagination to create appropriate stories inspired by the objects portrayed. The eye experiences the real adventure best by a 'walk' through the unusual and distorted perspectives of the doll-like interiors, which are representations of the artists own house. A walk which makes the viewer sometimes feel uneasy, rather like the ?impossibles?, painted architectures by M.C. Escher. But behind the innocent objects and behind the play with the perspective in each painting there is something precipitous lying in wait; a light greyness shouldn't make one forget that behind the mundane decor of this house there could also be a fatal deception.
Bruno F. Schneider