Mike Tilling, Arts Correspondent

Three Works – Victor Payares

Chris Shaw, owner of the Three Works Gallery, has done me a favour by going back to his original Three Works concept: only three pieces in any one exhibition. The ‘favour’ is to save me going through my usual routine of quickly walking round an entire exhibition, selecting just a few works for detailed viewing and then going back later..

Three Works encourages meticulous scrutiny rather than the superficial attention afforded to paintings in most larger galleries. It is the Three Works idea that lies at the core of Chris Shaw’s concept of how art should be experienced.

In conversation with Chris, he suggested that his latest exhibitor’s work ‘frustrate(s) any sort of attempt at interpretation’.

I disagree. Certainly ‘Red Dirt Lovin’ Bird’, the most abstract of the three, is difficult to pin down, but the other two - ‘Total Recall; Learn the Unlearning’ and ‘Untitled’ (all three, acrylic on canvas, 200x180 cms) - have one foot in realism with recognisable imagery: a person here, a landscape there.

To me, the paintings look as though they have initially been recognisable images. Payares has then extracted the essence by abstracting the shapes. The paint is thickly applied and he then emphasises his intention to get below the surface by cutting through the exterior level to reveal another layer of paint underneath.

The effect of this is to distance the viewer. You are asked to look and make judgements, but you are not invited into the artist’s space. This does not mean that the pieces are cold. There are bursts of colour that speak of energy and the slashes in the paint are an exuberant touch.

Payares is the latest in a long line of painters who have exhibited in Scarborough, thanks to Chris. They may not all be to the taste of the Scarborough public, but anyone with an open mind must applaud the innovation, richness and diversity that Three Works adds to our cultural life.

Since it opened, Three Works has brought the work of over forty contemporary artists to Scarborough

Chris Shaw is now engaged in turning the Three Works Gallery into a centre for artistic creativity. Most of the classes he, and others, run (in print making, drawing and painting) are oversubscribed. It is a compact focus for a diverse range of activities and we are lucky to have it in our midst.

The exhibition runs until 27th November at the
Three Works Gallery – Scarborough