Paul Winstanley
Kerlin Gallery       

Cristin Leach Hughes

Manchester-born Winstanley is a master painter of cool, empty spaces. His latest works are based on photographs taken between terms in British art schools. These beautiful realist images of whitewashed corners and partitioned spaces vacated over the summer have a still elegance that is one of the artist's trademarks. Former students will instantly recognise the scene: random stackable chairs, well-used sinks, paint-smudged floors, marked desks and bare walls occasionally revealing evidence of what went before. The project started out as a photographic venture resulting in an artist's book, and this show includes some photographs of mundane views out of college windows. Winstanley's art school is in temporary hibernation, an in-between place full of history and potential. Those who accuse the contemporary art world of insular behaviour and talking predominantly to itself will be delighted to find this time it's almost true. These paintings are essential viewing for anyone who ever spent time staring at a blank wall wondering what comes next.


The Sunday Times, 1st December 2013.