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Cindy Wright creates large-scale oil paintings on canvas. At first glance the monumental still life paintings appear to be photo-realistic, using the photographic methods of cropping compositions and intense source lighting. But on closer inspection, the range of mark making and painterly applications become astoundingly apparent. Wright’s work echoes the morbide tradition of ‘vanitas’ from the Dutch Old Masters of the 16th and 17th Century. Between beauty and decay, archetypal symbols like the human skull, rotten fruit, raw flesh and dead animals traditionally represent the transience of life. Within a contemporary context, these symbols may refer to mass consumption or the exploitation of natural resources. However, this is not essentially the artist’s intention. Rather than being shocking or moralising, the images evoke a sense of peacefulness, silence and fragility. Wright’s subjects are taken from her immediate surroundings and are transformed into iconic images for our times. This catalogue is published on the occasion of Wright’s solo exhibition ‘Dead Poetry’ in November 2018 at the Castle of Gaasbeek.
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