Where to begin on Jeremy Lipking? This thirty-something has a whirlwind of excitement around him, with countless people trying to imitate everything about him down to his manner of painting a signature. His work is being snapped up left right and centre and he is in demand as a teacher. What is it about his paintings that appeals, and I must say that they do have a particular appeal about them.
His subject matter is varied. In fact, he seems to be able to put his hand to just about anything: figure; still life; landscape. What makes seperates him from countless people working in a similar vein is a rock solid control of values. Lipking picks up on the very subtle nuances of colour and value and puts them on canvas with such confident fluid strokes that one can only admire. His colour choices have a conscious impact on the feeling of the paintings. Conceptually, and as far as subject matter is concerned, Lipking’s work is not particularly challenging but when paintings have such strong aesthetic appeal, I end up thinking like Whistler when he said :
“Art should be independent of all clap-trap – should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like.”
If it’s beautiful, why not? Has beauty not a value in and of itself after all?