Celia Paul


oil on canvas
24 3/4 x 28 x 2 3/8 inches

Celia Paul’s art stems from a deep connection with subject matter and is quiet, contemplative and ultimately moving in its profound attention to detail and deeply-felt spirituality. She makes intimate depictions of people and places she knows well. From 1977 to 2007 Paul worked on a series of paintings of her mother, and since then she has concentrated on painting her four sisters, especially her sister Kate, as well as a number of portraits of close friends. […]

In addition to her portraits, Paul has made detailed studies of landscapes and interiors, again focusing on the environment she knows best. She has made numerous studies of her studio, and has also painted the central London landmarks visible from its windows, including the British Museum and the BT Tower (previously known as the Post Office Tower). Her seascapes similarly focus on a subject she knows well. During the 1970s, Paul’s father was head of the Lee Abbey religious community in north Devon. Paul returned to this stretch of coastline to make studies for paintings that highlight the painter’s challenge not only to capture specific states of matter — water and air — but to attempt to capture the moment. These paintings are suffused with echoes and resonances of passing time, which in turn points to the poignancy and essential melancholy of the medium. Yet, for Paul, solace can be found in the consoling beauty of nature and in the flow of time that connects us all.

[Paul’s] work is in collections including Abbot Hall, Kendal; British Museum, London; Carlsberg Foundation, Copenhagen; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Frissiras Museum, Athens; Herzog Ulrich Gallery, Brunswick, Germany; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Morgan Library and Museum, New York; National Portrait Gallery, London; New Hall Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge; Ruth Borchard Collection; Saatchi Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; and the Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut.

[excerpted from Victoria Miro website]