Rachel Howard’s works are like psychological snares: they capture an essence of life that seldom materialises in painting. Her large canvases are horizontal and vertical planes of architecture, their form and shape coaxed into being with the assistance of gravity.
Her figurative works combine the simple elegance of drawing with the complex expressive qualities of painting. Vivid colours and heavy gloss are layered to construct luminous, shiny surfaces that look seductively wet. As if alive, her works seem better described as ‘layers of emotion’ and ‘limitless poetry’ than mere compositions of oil, acrylic, and household gloss: they are skins of paint.
This publication offers a comprehensive overview of Rachel Howard’s artistic practice to date, presenting the chronological development of her paintings and drawings. Divided into separate chapters, the paintings and drawings convey the sense that the drawn image assumes a distinct role in her practice, and yet, of course, these two are undeniably linked as the drawings often inform the painted forms.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Rachel Howard: Folie à Deux at Blain Southern, London,12 October – 22 December 2011.