Petra McCarthy is a master of expressionistic, abstract traditions. Yet her colourful, gestural brushwork challenges conventions of mark-making.
Applying layers of paint with organic spontaneity to a conventionally stretched canvas, she then seals the paint against its surface with a perspex panel. Selected areas of the canvas impress upon the panel, which is then suspended above the canvas as a modern and three-dimensional take on printing techniques. Of her paintings, McCarthy explains: ‘With the perspex mounted above the canvas, it becomes the primary image, while the marks on the canvas, which remain visible, play an important secondary role in the background as a formal reference point.'
A graduate in Fine Art from Leeds University, McCarthy has exhibited extensively in America and the UK and has had important solo exhibitions at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery and the Kirby Gallery, Merseyside.