Award Holders 2019/20

Paul Becker

Abbey Fellow 2019/20

I am particularly interested in looking at Giambattista Tiepolo, especially through the lens of Roberto Calasso’s Tiepolo Pink (2010) and more specifically, the Scherzi etchings made from 1743 onwards. I am intrigued by what Calasso defines of as their ‘resistance to interpretation’ and how their specificity sits so uncomfortably alongside their ambiguity and their seemingly dysfunctional narratives. Calasso uses the term sprezzatura (‘a certain nonchalance’) to identify Tiepolo’s response to the definition of meaning emanating from the psychic atmospheres present in the etchings. I am interested in the ‘state’ of painting, how it could be allied to or even contain the state of reading, reverie, daydream and thinking. In my work this ambiguous, cognitive state is doubly generative in that it produces not only the paintings themselves but a further language: writing. The painting can operate as a kind of a machine for the writing, and vice versa, so each aspect informs and produces the other. I am also interested in shared and collective ways of writing and the residency presents an opportunity for conversation, collaboration and shared endeavours alongside individual studio practices.