Anthony Hunter: A Few Blobs Here and a Few Blobs There
Abstracted, fluid, flat, bright areas of color and drips reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s action painting - the young British painter, Anthony Hunter (b. Lancashire, England, 1987) has a singular vision. While young, Hunter has already worked with one of the biggest names in art as an assistant to Damien Hirst. Glistening, glossy oil paint spans the surfaces in his works with attention to material, texture and color. Hunter utilizes the fluidity of his chosen medium to compose almost lyrically on the surface using his body as another tool to pour, pull, and scrape the paint.
Hunter’s works exhibit a tight rein, as the artist manages the flow with a practiced hand in his chosen glossy, oil-based medium. The brightness of the palette is emphasized by the luscious surfaces, capturing the velvety richness of Hunter’s color range. The bursting, punchy pigments like bubblegum pinks, deep blueberry blues, and lemon yellows are activated by the brisk drips and impromptu pours of liquid color.
“I would say my paintings and compositions fall under two main types perhaps,” Says Hunter. “There are the ones with multiple large slabs of colour often separated by a line. I also tend to make a lot of scrape paintings on a solid flat colour, which creates a border and another line. It’s the lines that create the order I think. The line and importantly the position of the line controls the chaos. The paintings are often very experimental but at the same time designed, they’re made in a fun, spontaneous way but one of the conscious decisions I do make is where to put the line.”
Hunter’s chromatic compositions often juxtapose nuanced hues with complementary, flat, resonant areas of bold color. His handling of the medium is free, yet refined with nods to the tenets of Color Field (especially Rothko) and the gestural abstraction of action painting. Hunter’s focus on medium and process is evident in his careful consideration in choosing to work with such a difficult material as gloss - taking months to dry, yet effective in achieving an unparalleled smooth yet dimensional surface.
Often, the works are intended to be experienced in both horizontal as well as vertical orientations with the compositions reading as an investigation in contrasts. In unique character, Hunter lovingly gives the works descriptive yet humorist titles that highlight this kind of personification, such as in Super Duper Pinky Yellow Scrape with Dark Green Blob on Top Painting or Curious Big Black Square Running Away from Black Blob Over There Painting.
“I keep my process evolving by simply deciding to make more work. Through experimentation and creating more I’m figuring out what I like and what I don’t like. Taking time to reflect on older works I think helps me to develop my process also. I see my artistic practice as a very long-term thing, something I hope to be doing when I’m 72 years old. As long as I am happy with the work I’m making that is all that really matters.”