From a poet
and his painters to a painter-poet.
Christopher Wood is no longer
up and coming; he is unequivocally up. Not that we have yet
seen the best of him. In his mid thirties, Edinburgh-trained,
living and working in East Lothian, he paints landscapes which
are still-lifes and still-lifes which expand into landscapes
of the mind. He is an abstractionist with a precise sense
of volume and form. His palette is delicate yet capable of
bursting into rich and glowing luminosity. You will see pictures
within pictures, skies and seas where there are none, sensuality
in the bleakest landscape.
Wood's latest exhibition, at The Scottish Gallery, is confirmation
of his maturity. He has always been able to manipulate paint
and give it voice, take what he wanted from De Stael's spatial
anarchy and lyrical economy, then bring his own energies and
vision to images whose only sense lies in the visual music
they make. The role of designer-draughtsman, such a cosy refuge
for artists with nothing to say, is not for him. If you look
long enough you will hear him quite clearly. No need, now,
for titles like I'd Rather Learn From One Bird How To Sing
Than Teach Ten Thousand Stars How Not To Dance, or Before
Why's First Because. The paintings say it all - and better.
Before Why's First Because
I'd Rather Learn...
The Scotland on Sunday, Spectrum Magazine, 28th July 1996
*(The first line
of this review refers to the previous paragraph regarding
an exhibition about Robert Burns)