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Chris Hanlon

Christopher Hanlon can appear an incredibly different painter from one group of works to the next. Essentially, like Karrer, he paints images that already exist in the world, if directly, but in ways that incorporate all the many collectively resonant details that might assign them to a particular cultural, personal and technological moment in time.Hanlon’s ability to render the photo-real is extraordinary, but it’s the framing of each image, its subject content and his sensitivity to the hidden poetry of the everyday that keeps these works hovering above the usual categorisations. And the fact that he handles every subject with the same care and attention. 

There is no sense of separation in terms of treatment between the figurative or the abstract situations described.For this project, his paintings of singular items that by dint of their framing appear ‘abstract’, or are of images of abstract designs and artworks, offer a different window onto the theme. At distance, it’s hard to say exactly what it is we are looking at, a depiction or the ‘real’ thing, despite them being images of images. Close to, there is no space in which to manoeuvre around the compositional content to guess this, which makes us evermore aware of each one as a representational, but highly interpretive skin. Here’s a piece for on Hanlon’s last solo show at DomoBaal, his representing gallery.

"A lot of my recent images, and particularly those featured in ‘Superfice’, come from online industrial or commercial companies like AliExpress or Alibaba, which feels like a slightly perverse source. I think I’m drawn to advertising’s standardised, matter-of-fact presentation of objects, the deliberate use of lighting, featureless backgrounds, and so on, which create that sterile quality used to emphasise the specific characteristics of the products on view."

Chris Hanlon


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