Jackie Wullschlager reviews an exhibition of work by Celia Paul at Victoria Miro, London, on view through August 2, 2014.
Wullschlager writes: "Large-scale, intensely concentrated, pared-down self-portraits and portraits of her four sisters contrast with small, luminous, hazy depictions of bastions or symbols of (male?) establishment power: the British Museum, St George’s Church at dawn, a comically abbreviated, golden, phallic Post Office Tower... The portraits, rigorous but loosely, freely painted in delicate white-grey-brown tonalities, also turn crucially on light effects. Sun streaming into the studio at varying hours and seasons – London’s pale wintry light in a new monumental portrait of Paul’s sister Kate; rising and waning summer brightness hovering over Paul’s own gaunt, taut features in five 'Self-portraits' made monthly from June to October last year – marks time and its passing, while an inner glow emanates from each figure."