Neish’s interest is unswerving in expressing something of the actual properties inherent to oil paint as a material in its own right. Paint is dragged and spread across its support revealing and concealing older layers underneath: at times spilling over the edge to add an element of chaos within the imposed formality of the depicted shapes, celebrating the paint's subliminal qualities, and allowing the marks to take you where they will.
Each series of treatments, conducted over many months, reveals surprising and unexpected moments, emphasizing to Neish the vulnerability of our times in what seems to be an increasingly virtual world. The paintings in this moment seem to say "I exist, I am real ... and so are you ..." “It’s as important to look at the physical edges of my work as anywhere else…in some ways these are the best elements because they reveal the timeline of the piece itself.”
“People are often present in my work: memories I have of someone or an association with a particular individual…or perhaps the initial idea for a painting comes from a place and a shared adventure. They are there but remain concealed, as locked into the painting as they are locked into my soul”.
About Peach Spring- First shown at LCA’s ‘Boundaries’ group show in London in 2016. This is a re-interpretation of an earlier painting from the 2013 Road Trip series but also utilising some elements from the 2015 Manhattan series too, especially in terms of the panel ‘motif’. The colour palette is a faithful rendition of the fading white-washed walls from the abandoned gas station in the town the painting is titled after. The reds reference the painted feet of the pillars supporting the station’s canopy.
Born in Derby, England, in 1962. He obtained a First Class Honors Degree in Art and Art Education at King Alfred’s College, Winchester in 1985, and later completed a post-graduate year of study at Dartington College of Arts in Devon. Until 2010 he enjoyed a highly successful career teaching Art and Art Education, principally at the Universities of Chichester and Southampton.
Following a period of focused research based on ageing surfaces on architectural features such as walls, doors, shutters and panels, his work explores the expressive qualities provided by the multiple layering of oil paint to invoke feeling and a tangible sense of the passing of time. Paint is never scraped off to mirror the way that our memories and experiences cannot be stripped out either. His work always evolves from what has gone on before. Currently he is working on collaborations with artists in Stockholm and Berlin. His work can be seen in public institutions in the UK and is currently represented by London Contemporary Art and Ivy Brown Gallery in New York City.
Brian currently lives in the UK with his wife Vanessa.