This is Cornelius McCarthy's ninth exhibition at Adonis
Art, and characteristically the artist continues to explore
formal and technical challenges while at the same time reinterpreting
themes which have preoccupied him for many years. So there
are striking new experiments here in the arrangement of figures
and the juxtaposition of colour. But the organizing idea behind
these pictures in fact goes back almost to the beginning of
his career, to his fascination with the sculptural qualities
of the male form and the monumental Hawksmoor churches which
were such landmarks in the Stepney of his youth.
Larger oil paintings such as 'Basilica with Three Men' and
'Gold Chain' are an indication of how rich a source of inspiration
this has proved to be, not only in terms of compositional
strength but also in suggestive power there is a remarkably
subtle play of light and shadow, a hint of eroticism, even
a mysterious structural connection between living men and
carved stone. Hawksmoor's virile, masculine architecture seems
here to echo the forms and articulation of the live male bodies.
And the colour - often similar to the chalky hues of early
Italian fresco - enhances these correspondences. The result
is an intriguing series of memorable images
I like the line in Peter Ackroyd's novel 'Hawksmoor' where
the architect describes how for "Strowling Men"
one of his churches becomes "their Theatre where they
may become Objects of our Meditation."