Gabriella Boyd’s works, she explains, ‘revolve around the merging of private and public spaces. I build up paintings of imagined locations in stages, often allowing purely formal considerations of colour and line to determine their direction. It is through this process that figures emerge. Psychological states become theatrically realised as characters’ inner and outer realities blur and shift’. Entering Boyd’s 2011 painting A Room in London, viewer morphs into voyeur. The canvas becomes a window into a charged interior, which twists the commonplace into the surreal. A seated nude man, with his back turned towards the viewer, occupies the foreground: his hair, composed of charcoal-grey strokes of paint, forms a hazy halo of flux or motion around his head, and his right arm is bent at the elbow as if poised to push up to stand. His torso is rhythmically echoed in a strange, ethereal apparition across the room; now headless, and facing into a black screen or alcove, his duplicated body appears in pinker flesh tones that blend softly into the peach-coloured walls. A third nude, far smaller in proportion, appears to perch on an invisible ledge on the wall beside a pot-plant, which presses against the ceiling as if trying to escape. An inverted broom balances against the wall by the figure’s side, its shadow forming a neat triangle. A luxuriant Persian rug and a hovering lampshade, partially obscured by black lines which stream down from the ceiling, deepen the mysterious, decadent atmosphere. Rendered in a palette of balmy yellows, pinks, creams and deep reds, the painting effuses a dreamlike, hallucinatory warmth, at once inviting and disquieting.
Post Lot Text
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