FAMAG 2016.4.40

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Israel, Henry: Untitled, signed and dated 1994, oil on plywood, 98 x 64 cms. Henry Israel. Bequest.

About the Artist

Isreal says of his work: "When I get an idea for a painting, usually through a visual experience of some kind, I sort it in my head for months. Some ideas fade; those that stay with me strengthen and simplify. Irrelevant details are erased, and I am left with a clear reference from which to work. From then on it's all about colour and paint itself. My colours are made from pure pigments, ground into a medium made by melting beeswax into linseed oil. I make each particular colour as I need it adding the dry colour to the mix. Working this way, I am constantly open to unforeseen gifts of colour qualities that occur in the mixing. As the paint is applied, usually with a knife, the action of scraping, shifting emphasis, building and reducing the surface, creates more accidents to be accepted or rejects. But all the open freeplay is tempered by adherence to the original idea. I make decisions, but the painting is given every change to have a life of its own.