For her first solo show at the Mayor Gallery, Indian born British artist Tanya Ling has made a group of new Line Paintings that add to the series started in 2014 first shown at Alex Eagle’s old space, South Kensington. The works were exclusively made in the gallery over the weekend before the show opened; sheets of paper hung while Ling with a paint kettle in one hand and paint brush in the other got to work. Each of the approximately 20 works share a single colour which for this season, is Dr. Ph. Martin's Cadmium Red, a red with an evocative 1970s orange hue.
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Ultramarine and Dr Ph Martin's Sap Green were the colours used for the production run in 2015 and 2017 respectively and the works from 2014 were made in an ink identified in the studio as a Matisse blue. These early Matisse blue lines avoided each other and never crossed while the more recent works see the lines cross, blend and collide. They are a little less disciplined. Ink drips fall in the manner of Christopher Wool. Completed in one sitting they are never reworked. They hang together aesthetically but no two are the same. They describe form but after all our looking there is no discernible object. They scale up and scale down, move in and move out, twist, turn and run and then slow down again.
In 2013, Ling was invited by The Mayor Gallery to paint directly onto the gallery's walls to mark the closing of the 22a Cork Street space. This first public appearance of the Line Painting idea took the form of a mural that was, in due course, smashed up and ground down by the demolition of the building pre-development. The genesis of the lines can be traced back before this to a textile design painted by Ling for the Louis Vuitton Cruise collection 2009. They have also appeared on a Fendi handbag and a large mural that formed the back drop to her sculpture show at Darbyshire frame makers, 2015. Sophie Hastings commissioned Ling for Art16 to paint one in front of the art fair visitors and a single work was included in Selected Works from the Murderme collection at Newport Street Gallery, 2017.
Born in Calcutta (1966), her childhood was spent in America, Africa and England where she studied Fashion Design and Textiles at St Martins School of Art. After graduating in 1989 Ling moved to Paris to work as a designer for Dorothee Bis and then for Christian Lacroix. On her return to London she set up a contemporary art project Bipasha Ghosh with her husband William Ling and in 1996 produced her first exhibition of drawings in artist Gavin Turk’s studio on the Charing Cross Road, London. This exhibition led to a commission to make drawings for British Vogue. Now over 50 of her drawings are housed in the Prints and Drawings collection at the V&A, London.
Tanya Ling lives and works in London