Europeans (Picasso in the nose), 2015

Basel 2015
Vilma Gold
Silkscreen on linen
220.0 x 140.0 x 6.0 Size (cm)
86.6 x 55.1 x 2.4 Size (in)
Osborne constructs deadpan juxtapositions. His large works take the form either of single panels, diptychs or multiple stretchers amassed together into rectangular shapes on the wall. Rather incongruously, a single cartoon image sourced from European language textbooks such as those for learning Spanish or French is pasted over their meticulously painted abstract grounds. In the same moment, are small figurative paintings. The portraits are a way of exploring orthodoxies and conventions in painting, as well as at times providing a ground for collage. The new ‘Barbara’ paintings were initially inspired by a hairstyle and follow an earlier series depicting the same rubber plant over and over again. Osborne’s clear and direct use of different painting languages and of large and small formats, seems to enable the viewer to consider abstract and figurative painting again. By inserting collages Osborne highlights the pace of making by altering the speed. Speed is also at issue when large-scale abstract painting is treated with the same consideration as detailed small figurative painting. The contradictory way of using different painting languages is not just a matter of large vs. small, abstract vs. figurative. Osborne plays with these notions when he fastidiously paints the large abstract surfaces with the same attention to detail as the small figurative paintings.