Published by Art / Books. Foreword by Andrew Marr. Text by Michael Bracewell, Rebecca Daniels, Jennifer Higgie, Simon Martin.
Strange Meetings is the first monograph on UK abstractionist Clare Woods (born 1972), internationally regarded as one of the most significant painters working today. Her paintings and works on paper are found in important public and private collections around the world, and she has produced many high-profile public commissions in the UK and Europe. Her highly coloristic paintings hover somewhere between abstraction and representation, expressing both a poetic romanticism and an unnerving psychic charge. Published to coincide with the show The Sleepers at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, and ahead of a series of important exhibitions and commissions, this beautifully designed and illustrated volume presents all the major works from her career to date, from small-scale intimate paintings in oil and enamel to ambitious high-profile public commissions and architectural projects. The dynamic layout of the book, with a varied mix of close-up details and installation shots, gives the reader a strong sense of the diverse scale and immersive, push-pull nature of the work. Five prominent writers consider various aspects of Woods’ practice, including her painting technique and use of photographic source material; her engagement with the traditions of landscape and figurative art; her relationship with artistic forebears such as Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth, Graham Sutherland and Eduardo Paolozzi; and the connections between her life and ever-evolving work. More than a celebration of Woods’ achievements as an artist, this book is also testament to her importance to the future of painting. In his foreword, Andrew Marr asks what should a painting look like in 2016, when "so much has already been done by so many extraordinary hands, fingers and brains." "In these pages," he concludes "you will find some answers."