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Comment by Resident Curator on June 28, 2014 at 7:02pm

Curator’s Comments:


Clare Trying to Sleep is quite a masterful painting.  The writhing brushstrokes viscerally evoke a sense of restlessness or disrupted sleep.  In fact, this piece reminds me a great deal of a bed painting with a figure by Lucian Freud. (I tried looking for it online, but didn’t find the specific one to reference the title.  Perhaps you’ve seen it?)  Regardless, the painting shares a rough muddy color palette that brings to mind a raw or pure paint quality. The delineated folds or striations in the pillow next to the figure’s head share a prominence in the picture plane, and stand in for another figure. The strong diagonal in the composition additionally contributes to the off kilter, quietly agitated mood.  The piece to me seems to be about the joyous struggle of painting as much as it is about the environment, Clare, or sleep.

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