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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A Paean to Lizzie Rowe


The Unironed Frock

The Red Dress

So, my trip to The Biscuit Factory to see my cousin-brother had to be cancelled, as neither of us could make it without a sled and pack of huskies...

Something to look forward to another day, j'espere, I live my life in hope. As I hope also to get to the hair salon before I take on the role of the new Cousin Itt!

And, without planning it, as such, I seem to be featuring my love of contemporary art this week... Sometimes I surprise even myself!

Here is another artist whose work has been exhibited at The Biscuit Factory.

I first encountered Stephen Rowe's work standing, transfixed, upon the staircase at the sumptuous Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Stephen's works, Angel Study I and II, together with The Annunciation, haunted the twin stairs that ascend to the grand and upper circles of the Victorian theatre, whose architect was Frank Matcham. Clickie.

I swithered hither and thither, across the hallway, trying to take in all I could of the meaning of these paintings. I thought they must be by a Spanish artist, perhaps... I was stunned by their haunting, and haunted, beauty, evoking sunshine, blood and tilled soil, bright angels and deep despair, what is dark and what is hidden, what is revealed of us and what we bury, never again to see the light of day.

Born Portsmouth UK, 1955 as Stephen Rowe, "There isnt a painter anywhere around quite like Lizzie Rowe (she combines) the lush paintwork and moody atmospheric tonalities of Rembrandt with the sinuous graphic decadence of Beardsley".

Robert Clark, The Guardian, June 5th 2006.

"Hangups"
Lizzie Rowe is virtually unique in using her art as an actual means of gender transformation and documentation she has convincingly embodied this transformation in the genre of immaculately executed figurative painting (which) proves that painting is still a vital creative medium.

Robert Clark, The Guardian 2005

"Dysphoria"
In the late 1980s the Newcastle-based artist formally known as Stephen Rowe underwent gender-reassignment to become Lizzie, a personal transformation publicly documented through her paintings and drawings. Her work explores the private turmoil and confusion of the artist coming to terms with her newly recognized gender. The cluttered, but ambiguously defined spaces reflect the thoughts and dreams of the artist and the isolating fear of the unknown.

This piece is entitled, "Is Never Done" As in, "A Woman's Work Is..."

Lizzie continues to draw inspiration from her own experiences and the world of domestic feminine minutiae and is also a sought-after portrait artist.

"Rowe doesn't make easy political references to sexual and gender role playing; this is an artist who has painted first his, now her way out of social stereotypes and achieved, through immense creative and personal struggle, the liberation of being a self created individual. So here Rowe's long-time fascination with dresses and lace, her domestic reveries of ritualised laundering and ironing, are transformed with an aura of otherworldly melancholy and yearning.
So here Rowe's long-time fascination with dresses and lace, her domestic reveries of ritualised laundering and ironing, are transformed with an aura of otherworldly melancholy and yearning".

Robert Clark

The Guardian


Lizzie's Website is HERE I find her work both enigmatic and wondrous.

I particularly like her paintings evoking angels, or the feathers of angels' wings tumbling around dresses, as in this painting, Numinous, (in the presence of the divine).

Lizzie's art seems to feature in collections such as that of the Saatchis. I hope to own a piece of Lizzie's one day.


I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Lizzie's art and life. Stay safe in this treacherous weather, mes amis! Mwah! Gotcha!

6 comments:

Saz said...

l would have enjoyed that very much..thanks for the preview....

the fabrics are so painterly and has great movement..

saz x

Expat mum said...

Ooh, there's a hint of Degas in some of them. Lovely. Will have to check out more.

slommler said...

What powerful paintings!! So ethereal and luminouse! I love them very much! I would love to own one of these paintings myself.
Hugs
SueAnn

slommler said...

What powerful paintings!! So ethereal and luminouse! I love them very much! I would love to own one of these paintings myself.
Hugs
SueAnn

Olga said...

Thank you for the post. I love this artist. Her paintings are warm and intimate, and I love the way the light shines through them.

Shamozal said...

Beautiful! I'm always so envious of blogs that are as gorgeous as yours. Thanks for sharing the art, very very pretty. Kirsty (Shamozal)

Something I wrote earlier...

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