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Fading values at London’s Wyer Gallery.When Richard Galloway moved to London he did what most budding artists do and settled in the East End. Living in rundown Hackney while hanging out in übercool Hoxton is artworld regulation, and it’s somewhere between these two lifestyles that Galloway seems to have found inspiration.
His ambitious, large-scale linocuts offer a fish-eye glimpse into a crowded bookies, a greasy spoon and upstairs on the 38 bus. These interiors contain detailed references to contemporary life in the East End (from the food people eat to the clothes they wear) while projecting an underlying sadness for its fading values. Branding such as Starbuck’s and iPods sully his romantic view of salt-of-the-earth types but, simultaneously, their inclusion updates his use of the traditional process of printmaking.
The labour intensity of Galloway’s linocuts is similar to the imaginary landscapes of Paul Noble, while their scratchy black-and-white surface retains a sketch-like quality which captures a genuine energy and enthusiasm for his subject.
Gemma De Cruz
Richard Galloway is at the Wyer Gallery, London, until 23 March 06.
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