Artist interview: Jude Rae

Published in Art Collector’s special edition for Art Basel Hong Kong 2014

"Jude Rae" by Jane O'Sullivan in Art Collector

Jensen Gallery is taking your work to Art Basel Hong Kong this year. What will you be presenting?

We are presenting a selection of recent still life paintings which have a more pronounced physical presence than my previous work. The linen I am using lately is more textured than that I have used in the past and the preparation has involved a process that is much more demanding than using pre-primed commercial canvas … This is important because it changes the nature of the paintings, introducing a physicality that establishes the painting more as [an] object both for the viewer and for me as well … I have also found that during the process of painting my awareness moves more in the direction of the how rather than the what of description, a shift I have been working towards for some time.

In both your portraiture and still lifes it seems a very considered choice to avoid the sentimental. You seem very aware of the role you want your art to play within the context of art history and in front of the viewer’s gaze. I’m interested in how you got to this point. When and how did it crystallise for you what you wanted to achieve with your work?

I studied early Italian and northern renaissance art and architecture for my undergraduate degree and continue to read art history and theory fairly widely. I feel it is necessary to understand the history of the discipline and to engage the tradition as a contemporary painter. If I avoid the sentimental it is because it is predictable, some would say kitsch, and I have no interest in the currency of such easy recognition.
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