Vicken Parsons


Vicken Parsons makes small, intimate paintings on wood panel using thin layers of oil paint. Her subjects are usually partial views of interior spaces or landscapes, some remembered and others imagined. Details of rooms such as corners or doorways or glimpses of fleeting clouds conjure up worlds that are contained yet expansive. Her paintings are quiet and meditative in mood, but also richly evocative, drawing in the viewer through their expressive brushwork, instinctive interplay of colour and light, and unnerving tension between surface and depth.

Parsons’ work has beguiled and inspired writers from the fields of art, literature, and psychoanalysis for several decades. Their responses to her ‘visual poems’ are gathered here for the first time in this collection of writings on her practice. Dozens of her most celebrated paintings are reproduced, alongside some of her drawings, until now never shown, and her ‘painted objects’, in which she extends her pictorial investigation of space, reflection, and illusion into three-dimensional form. This beautiful book is a demonstration of painting’s power to evoke emotion and sensation even when on the smallest of scales.

With foreword by Kettle's Yard Director, Andrew Nairne, and introduction by Charlotte Mullins. Texts by Michael Archer, Iwona Blazwick, Darian Leader, Richard Morphet, Anna Moszynska, Annushka Shani, Rachel Spence, Edmund de Waal, plus conversation between the artist and David Batchelor.

Vicken Parsons (b. 1957) studied at Slade School of Fine Art in London in the late 1970s. She has work in many private and public collections in Britain, including Tate, Arts Council England, the Government Art Collection, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and across and Europe. She is represented by Cristea Roberts Gallery, London; Galerie Christine König, Vienna; and Kristof De Clercq Gallery, Ghent. She lives and works in London.

296 pages
240 illustrations
ISBN 978-1-908970-59-6
Dimensions: 25.7 x 21 cm 

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