Posted on | December 7, 2011 | No Comments
Studio Scene with Elephant: Study after Velázquez is like a brainstorming session that has miraculously resulted in a comprehensible whole idea. It rewards study precisely because of its exhilarating jumble of imagery. Picasso and Van Gogh are also among Cullen’s influences, but his real tribute here is a geographical one.
He translates the red tiles, blue shadows and sun-bleached walls of Málaga into eye-popping street scenes, including Moorish Arch and Morning, Casarabonela. Interior with Still Life and Peaches, with its morning cuppa and copy of Cervantes, is typical of the mood of the show, but Cullen does best when he avoids cliché as in the moon-lit Nocturne, Casarabonela or Study: Interior, Midday, a studio scene enlivened by dynamic angles.
With endless vistas of orange mountaintops, yellow fields and blue skies, these hot, bright compositions are, like holiday snaps, mementos of a happy, sunny time.
Michael Cullen – Paintings from Sierras de las Nieves, Málaga is at Taylor Galleries until 10 December 2011.