Romany Eveleigh

(b. 1935)

Canadian artist Romany Eveleigh–whose career began upon the completion of her studies at London's Slade School of Fine Art in 1956–has never wavered in her belief that a direct and deeply personal engagement by an artist in the material creation of the work leads one into the richest territory that abstraction has to offer. Holding fast to that conviction, Eveleigh has produced a body of work that is distinguished by its formal originality, conceptual rigor and emotional depth.

Eveleigh's oeuvre addresses the struggle or quest by which an individual arrives at understanding. She proposes to explore the territory where our avenues to awareness begin: the paintings themselves might be termed landscapes of cognition. As Eveleigh has explained, "What is consistently reductive and sparse about my paintings or drawings is not a sought-after end but a sought-for beginning."

Over the years, Romany Eveleigh has exhibited extensively in Europe and Canada. In New York, she showed with the Kouros Gallery from 1992 to 2005. Responding to a Romany Eveleigh exhibition in Rome in 1986, the distinguished Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben wrote: Pages, which you cannot write, which you will never writ... Pages, upon which potentiality has surpassed actuality, expectation has devoured its object, inspiration has superseded the work... Pages, which you cannot turn, pages of painting. In 1996, the American critic and art historian Barbara Rose observed: She like Rothko, Newman and Motherwell, is not an orthodox geometric purist, but an artist who sees painting as presence, as a direct confrontation on a one to one basis between the spectator and the work of art whose visible brush work reminds us that the hand of the artist, rather than any mechanical system, produced the work.


Tearouts & Recent Paintings

In each of the last four decades, Eveleigh created one or more series of small-scale nonobjective works, comprising drawings, paintings and collages. For the twelve piece series called Tearouts (1986), she used a standard yellow lined writing pad, tearing a shape from each sheet. Eveleigh generally follows each series with several large-scale paintings, consistently choosing to work on square or near-square supports, which she has called at various times a "neutral ground," "playing field," "game board" or "wall," and which she regards as a simple, unencumbered space where something can happen. The recent paintings—Untitled, 2006; and OM and To, 2007—function completely independently of each other and are not meant to be read as a series, nor interpreted as enlarged versions of any of the preceding small works.

Inquiries welcome. Exhibition catalogue available.