Award Holders 2022/23

Mark Epstein

Abbey Fellow 2022/23

The series of paintings I want to make in Rome will serve as a continuation of the research I have been doing in my studio over the last number of years.

Recent shaped paintings delve into ornament. The shaped supports help determine both motifs and compositions in the works, encouraging certain decisions while limiting others. I often feel as if I am working within an architecture, negotiating corners and edges while striving to maintain the integrity of the painting.

This interaction between images and shaped supports in my own studio practice echoes the relationships between paintings and architecture in numerous historic buildings in Rome (and in Italy more broadly). There is a strong dialog between how I work in the studio and historic paintings and frescoes whose forms have been shaped by the architecture around them. The non-rectilinear forms of many of Rome’s altarpieces and ceiling panels help to create a sense of location - a structure in which the viewer’s eye can travel and discover. This sense of place is something I strive to create in my own work as well, providing a viewer with a space to inhabit that contrasts with the two-dimensional, rectilinear expectations we have of paintings.


A Balcony View for the New Century, detail, Acrylic on artist-made panel


The Potential for Redemption (in Every Moment), Acrylic on artist-made panel