The Beautiful Melancholy of George Shaw’s Paintings

Scenes From The Passion by George Shaw

Poets Day by George Shaw

The Resurface by George Shaw

Of the four artists nominated this year for the Turner Prize, it is the work of the Ilfracombe-based artist George Shaw that resonates most with me. Shaw’s landscapes focus on the mundane and he capture the melancholic beauty that can be found amid the overlooked and the everyday. Shaw finds this best in his hometown of Coventry and amongst the garages, houses and monuments of his youth.

His paintings of the Tile Hill council estate evoke memory and through the simplicity of his images he still somehow captures the bleakness and romanticism of the landscape. Shaw describes this best by saying: “I paint the paintings of all the times and all the thoughts I lack the language to describe.” I find Shaw’s work to be incredibly refreshing against that of the other Turner Prize nominees, and his take on contemporary art is really enjoyable. If you’re interested, I’d recommend checking out the video interview The Guardian did with him last week here. On December 5th I’ll definitely have my fingers crossed for Shaw when they announce the winner of The Turner Prize.


November 16, 2011 / By