Gordon Dalton’s paintings have a melancholic humour that questions their seriousness and intentions. His seemingly offhand approach denies any superficial finesse to reveal a love of awkward imagery, polluted colours and scruffy surfaces.
An anxious contradiction is on show, with the work being self conscious of what it is, its possible failings, yet disregarding any angst by replacing it with a certain nonchalance and arrogance. The paintings have an adolescent quality about them, vulnerable, embarrassed and yet full of rude bravado.
Random objects are stuffed in dark, dusty cupboards; dirty canvases are propped up and held together with sticks and bits and bobs; faded bunting celebrates a long forgotten event and smoggy clouds are belched out across industrial landscapes from Teesside to South Wales to the American Mid West.
The works both attract and repel, daring you to like them, to share in their stuttering, bad grammar. Dalton’s work asks the viewer to look longer and harder at what painting is, and why it continues to fascinate.