Published by Other Criteria Books. Text by Mario Codognato. Interview by Anna Moszynska.
This catalog for British painter Rachel Howard’s (born 1969) exhibition at Newport Street Gallery features 14 paintings drawing on the Stations of the Cross, with a study of media images of the torture of Iraqi detainee Ali Shallal al-Qaisi by US soldiers in 2003.
Published to accompany Rachel Howard's solo exhibition of new work at Bohen Foundation, New York in June 2007, this book profiles Howard's paintings and ink drawings on paper. Accompanying this is an insightful interview between Howard and New York-based critic Adam E. Mendelsohn, which explores the new figurative direction Howard's work is taking, and a hauntingly beautiful poem by critic and poet Sue Hubbard. Howard's new works incorporate dark shapes of hanging female figures that appear to have been poured onto the canvas, all previous brushstrokes dissolved into a perfectly smooth expanse of paint. Embedded in the saturated colours and glossy surfaces that characterise Rachel Howard's work, the dire figures set up an uneasy tension between the subject matter and the vibrant physicality of colour, surface and layered depth. The accompanying ink drawings, which are dominated by female suicide, also explore what the artist describes as 'the beauty of tragedy'. As Howard puts it, "suicide seems to be one of the last taboos... shame and guilt and sin; all the things I love and hate."