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Victor Willing | Scratch the Wall

Turps Gallery
Unit 12
Taplow House
Thurlow Street
SE17 2UQ

26th October – 30th November 2019 (Wednesday to Saturday, 12-5pm)
PV: 25th October 6-9 pm


Beneath even the desire to change society and the need to communicate is a need, urgent in some of us, to affirm with our scratches that ‘I exist’. The activities going on in our mind – thoughts and memories – are ephemeral, disappearing when we do. So scratch the wall and step back…turn around and look again tomorrow. There it is still – tangible proof.”
Victor Willing (1928-88)

Victor Willing’s scratches are the marks of a brush. Sometimes these scratches are slow and steady, sometimes they are hard and quick. They outline specific forms and they fill in areas with modulating hues. Life-size objects and geometric shapes congregate against the backdrop of the cutting horizon line; they depict the imagined rather than the observed. In 1976, Willing experienced his first vision, a hallucinatory daydream, that subsequently proved to be a game changing catalyst that would re-route the trajectory of his work. From then until 1985, he made 28 paintings in total. While modest in number, they were ambitious and singular paintings that defy easy categorisation and that cement his invaluable contribution to 20th century painting.

Turps Gallery, in association with ASC Gallery, presents Victor Willing Scratch the Wall, an exhibition that highlights several of the keys works Willing made during these nine years. The exhibition is accompanied by the publication of Turps Spotlight #2: Victor Willing, the second in a series of artist monographs.

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