Michael Simpson. Bench Painting.
by florence cheval
Michael Simpson, bench painting no 63, 2006. oil paint on canvas,
517cms x 236cms
” I began the Bench Paintings in December 1989. My intention had been to make an ‘hommage’ to a man who had interested me since I was a young student; the Neapolitan philosopher, Giordano Bruno. In more general terms, I wanted to make paintings about the infamy of religious history. The bench appeared in the earliest working drawings. For many reasons, it was an image immediately significant to the subject matter. I think of the bench as a powerful metaphor; for waiting, religious tyranny, trial and death. It is also historically, a place where justice and injustice is administered. Despite the weight of subjective references in my work, I believe ultimately that a painting must move beyond it’s subject. In this sense, I am primarily concerned with the mechanics of painting. ”