'All that glitters' Paintings by John Devane at 10 Gresham St: 'All that Glitters' Eight oil paintings on canvas exhibited together at 10 Gresham St in London.

John Devane (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchExhibition


This solo exhibition of paintings was entitled 'All that glitters'.
The venue was 10 Gresham St. London EC2 7JD
dates: 20/09/2018 until 25/01/2019
This solo exhibition relates to my ongoing research into representational painting and thus relates also to previous exhibitions of my work and written material dealing with notions of representation and depiction. The eight pictures included in the exhibition were all painted over a two year period. Seven of the pictures were exhibited for the first time in this exhibition and only one of the pictures entitled 'Weeping woman' had been exhibited before and selected for the Columbia Threadneedle Prize: Figurative Art today 2018.
The aim of the exhibition was to build on the ideas of the works exhibited in the Threadneedle St exhibition earlier in the year and develop the painterly vocabulary in a more emphatic sense. To that end, each of the paintings has a theatrical or cinematic point of reference but the subjectmatter is explored through the materiality of the paint itself. As David Peters Corbett states in 'The World of Paint' "If painting has historical or social meaningthen those meanings can only arise from the signifying potential of its material substance."
This set of works contains imagery culled from quite disparate sources (including fim, theatre and photography) which have been 'morphed' together in a collage like process. The serendipitous connections between the various sources are exploited for their expressive potential and the application of paint is the common demoninator which serves to unify and anchor the image in an ambiguous and fictional spatial setting. Illumination is an important consideration in each painting and the images are concieved as if existing in a shallow stage like space with a mixture of strong direct lighting of the motif in question. In some senses this is consistent with the theatrical nature of the subject matter but it is also a 'modernist strategy' of attempting to evoke spatial relationships in a controlled 'figure ground relationship'. In some of the pictures confetti like pieces of material appear to flutter through the pictorial space. This is a deliberate strategy to undermine and disrupt the otherwise logical space that is depicted. This painterly intrusion serves to locate the painting within a discourse of painting that is rooted in the materiality of its physical making.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

John Devane's contribution to this exhibition is eight large scale oil paintings on canvas painted in 2017-18.

Additional Information

The paintings combine personal narrative with imagery culled from fim and advertising. Images taken from a range of sources are combined together to form a coherent whole. In this series entitled 'All that glitters' Devane depicts 'confetti like pices of paper fluttering across the image. The inclusion of this ephemeral element allows for opportunities tp construct pictorial space.


  • painting
  • art practice
  • Representational Art
  • Figurative Art
  • narrative
  • contemporary art


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