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Videographic painting: Paris pale blue



Jess MacNeil

Canada, England, Australia

1977 –

  • Details

    Other Title
    Pale Paris blue
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil, watercolour and graphite on canvas
    150.0 x 190.0 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. corner verso on canvas stapled to stretcher, black fibre-tipped pen "J Macneil 2007".

    Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Jess MacNeil

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jess MacNeil

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Videographic painting: Paris pale blue' belongs to the first series of paintings that Jess MacNeil created directly from her video works. It continues her ongoing investigation of painting as a mode of translation. In one sense, it is a visual translation of her video work into paint, stemming from her earlier paintings based on photographic subject matter. This notion of a transition between mediums is central to MacNeil's practice, as she explores the possibilities for cross-fertilisation and challenges conventional media boundaries.

    In another sense, the painting is a translation of place, memory and lived experience. It reflects MacNeil's interest in the dynamics of public space - ideas of flux and transience - and its translation into pictorial space. 'Videographic painting: Paris pale blue' draws upon the artist's visit to an ice-skating rink at Patinoire de L’Hôtel de Ville in Paris, where she developed her video work 'Thaw' 2007. The painting, however, is not a representation of the scene directly, but rather a representation of the scene over time, capturing a sense of movement and temporality. The sense of duration in the painting is intrinsic to its relationship to MacNeil's video work.

    The artist captures the scene in fragments: some sections of the work have been filled with brushstrokes of colour or flat planes of pale blue, while other parts have been left blank with traces of irregular graphite lines. She allows the scene to dissolve into almost pure abstraction. Areas of blank canvas mock our desire for completion and destabilise our ability to perceive what we are looking at. MacNeil's strategic omission of parts of the image reveal 'the trace of the event of painting in its unaltered state'.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 5 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Jess MacNeil