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Grand Mal
Nadia Hebson

9-31 July 2005


Doppelgangers - 2005               


I Want You, I Want You... - 2005

What is initially a bewildering choice of subject matter; Flemish portraits, medieval landscapes and marine paintings are all plundered for Hebson’s Grand Mal. By cutting adrift these simple iconic images from their (art) historical context Hebson services them for her own ends. Testing the plausibility of sentiment as a continued convincing subject matter for painting. These heightened images corralled together begin to suggest an ambiguous psychological realm.

Painting on copper and zinc with small tentative marks the paint is worked to a point of fatigue. Weeping doppelgängers and phantasms of galleons glow and fizz unnaturally in filmic negative.

Paint blooms like a psychic bruise to obscure and reveal detached but emotionally charged images. Through the involved (obsessive) build up of delicate marks these paintings quietly carve out their own distinct atmosphere. Low-key emblems slow burn, dimly illuminating a quiet melancholia.


Nadia Hebson was educated at the Royal Academy Schools. In 2002 she was appointed painting Research Fellow at UWIC. Past solo shows include Phantasmagoria at Chapter Gallery Cardiff and Goria at Transition, London. She now lives and works in Berlin.