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Mystery Abounds in Lee Madgwick’s Uncanny Paintings of Derelict Buildings
July 19, 2023
A sense of unease surrounds the buildings in Lee Madgwick’s paintings, their sides crumbling or coated in thick vegetation as they stand alone in fields or swamps. The neglected structures appear lifted from cities and towns and dropped directly into rural landscapes, where nature slowly envelops their brick facades or sprouts trees from their eaves. “I’m forever drawn to places of abandonment and isolation,” Madgwick tells Colossal. “I’m compelled to explore these enigmatic wonders. There’s a poignancy and an unwavering silence and fragility that hangs in the air.”
Containing only remnants of human life, the scenes prompt questions about the buildings’ origins and caretakers. Some pieces, like “The Veil,” depict a home long-deserted by inhabitants as thick vines cover the lower windows, while others like “Fen View” suggest that people remain, as a small window is neatly trimmed out of an overgrown hedge.
Working in what he terms “imagined realism,” the artist uses a mix of water-mixable oil and acrylic paints layered during the course of several weeks. “The skies are painted with the palms of my hands and fingertips. It’s the most expressive part of the process,” he shares. “Together with a brooding sky and concentrated light a sense of drama is formed and a narrative is set in motion.”
Madgwick has a solo show slated for October at Brian Sinfield Gallery in Burford, Oxfordshire. Until then, find his work on Instagram and shop limited-edition prints on his site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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