Wine dark sea (5)
About the work
Mary Ramsden’s abstract works combine geometric forms of bold colour with gestural marks. Rather than paintings, Ramsden considers them to be painted objects. She always works on several pieces at one time, and explores different groupings with the approach that painting is a progressive language that demands ‘our active engagement’. Surprising shifts in scale, subtle variations in palette and nuanced mark-making are recurring themes in her work. Another central interest is the formal concept of edge. Curator Tom Morton has related Ramsden’s works to our digital age, describing how: ‘Forms overlay each other, like windows open on a laptop screen, and pigment spills over the lip of the picture plane, where it collects in the neglected edge zones of the canvas, underscoring the physicality of the painted image, and the business of taking it in.’
The title Wine Dark Sea is a reference to a phrase in the Ancient Greek poet Homer’s Book V from ‘The Odyssey’. Ramsden is interested in the fact that there is no word for blue in ancient Greece and so this metaphor appears in The Iliad and The Odyssey as a substitute. There is also no mention of blue in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.
About the artist
Mary Ramsden lives and works in London, having trained at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh College of Art, and the Royal Academy in London. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at Pilar Corrias, London (2019, 2017, 2015, 2012) and at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, United States (2016). Recent group exhibitions abroad include Galleri Thomassen, Götenborg, Sweden (2018); Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); and State of Concept, Athens, Greece (2014).
Mary Ramsden (1984 - )
- Wine dark sea (5)
- Oil on canvas
- height: 30.2 cm, width: 20.5 cm, depth: 2.8 cm
- Purchased from Pilar Corrias, July 2016
- on stretcher bar verso b: Ramsden
- Pilar Corrias; purchased July 2016
- GAC number