Christopher Wood RSW
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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
Before Why's First Because

I'd Rather Learn From One Bird How Not To Sing Than Teach Ten Thousand Stars How Not To Dance
I'd Rather Learn...

©W Gordon Smith

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)