Artwork’s Title: Evening Kick Off, 2019
Materials Used: Acrylic on canvas
Studio Based: Camberwell, London
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
I start with an idea or reference in my head that excites me, whether that be a practical problem I want to figure out in the work – such as colliding two visual languages together – or rather simply taking inspiration from something about the way a football pitch is mown that I feel would make a cracking formalist painting. In the case of Evening Kick Off, it’s a combination. If I make an initial drawing prior to starting painting it’d usually be a scribble in the back of my notebook or perhaps a digital drawing on an Instagram story, outlining the general intention but not necessarily something strict. The organic and impromptu evolution of a painting in the studio is important to me, certainly regarding the accumulation of forms on the canvas, however refined or determined the finished composition might appear. I treat my canvases as gathering grounds for visual references, whether personal or instinctive, which are sourced for their playful abstract potential from print-outs in my studio space or from my open laptop. I render these forms within masked-off frames which I’ll layer in random combinations in a manner I see paralleling the way computer windows and tabs operate on a screen. In many ways my process is a form of collaging except exclusively with painting languages, or rather ‘cutting & pasting’ given the connections to the digital in this work.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Spatial, Windowed, Reminiscent.
Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘Evening Kick Off‘ painting?
Champions League Nights.
How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?
I was watching a football stream open on my laptop one evening, and got inspired by a purely formal reading of the layout of imagery on the screen. Something about the way the flood-lit patterned grass sat cropped within its own frame against an unrelated desktop picture, along with other random imagery such as holiday ad pop-ups elsewhere on the screen. It made me think about the nature of image reception today, delivered via a bombardment of unrelated, rectangular sources. The prospect of translating this artificial space and the logics of my computer screen into materials in the painted format is something that interests me. I like to think the references I include carry a kind of arbitrary potential for dragging and closing, in the same way as an onscreen image pop-up, and could really exist anywhere across the composition.
What colour is used the most in this painting?
I think the blue ground dominates.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
In a white cube gallery space lined with artificial grass.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
Tomma Abts, Enrico Bach, Raoul De Keyser.
How do you know when this painting was finished?
I never really know what the finished painting should look like when I make work. I think it’s a personal instinct when each element is hanging together right, and sometimes it’s best to stop whilst you’re ahead at this stage. Lately, I’ve been learning ‘less is more’ proves to be pretty beneficial for my current body of work, where before I’d have a tendency to fill every last empty space and my paintings would become too complicated and unnecessary.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
I currently share a busy studio space with other painting students which is great in terms of the kinds of daily influence and the conversations about work you get. My studio wall is always really clean, certainly compared to the other painters around me. I don’t know, maybe this reflects in my work. I like to be able to read my paintings against a clear background without distraction. Having said this I tend to have a few up on the go at once.
What does your mum think about your art?
Number one fan.
Which exhibition did you visit last?
Bloomberg New Contemporaries at the South London Gallery.
Which are your plans for the near future?
Currently I’m working towards a group interim show at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham next month with painting and sculpture students. Then it’ll be preparing for my degree show at Camberwell in the summer. Come by!
© All images are courtesy of the artist
2 thoughts on “George Edgell: Evening Kick Off”
A fascinating piece. For me it feels like some sort of window or portal either behind or on top of the deep blue of outer space, like the obelisk in 2001!
Great comment Eddy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.