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Gwen Hardie’s work engages with figuration and the act of perception. She first gained attention with her large scale tightly-cropped portraits of women. Her magnificatiions of skin lit by natural light resemble light effects in the landscape and micro/macro views of cells/earth. Observing from life, she employs aspects of classical painting and color theory to render a lifelike presence. Intimate and monumental, the body-image shifts back and forth perceptually between an atmospheric illusion and a thing of gravity, real and tangible.
Born and educated in Scotland , she has lived and worked in London and Berlin before settling in New York City in 2000. Hardie’s work was recently represented in The British exhibition; “Reality: Modern and Contemporary British Painting” at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, July- Nov 2015 (previously at The Sainsbury Centre in Norwich) with Lucien Freud, Jenny Saville and others. Other recent shows include; “Skin Deep” a solo show at The Smoyer Gallery, Roanoke College, US in April/May 2014, “Borderline; Depictions of Skin” at Garis & Hahn, New York City and “Skin; An Artistic Atlas”, with John Coplans, Marlene Dumas and others at The Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, Ireland. Her solo show “Boundaries”, was in the Hebrides, Scotland, at An Lanntair and Taigh Chearsabhagh in 2012 / 2013 .
Hardie has been awarded residencies at The Bogliasco Foundation in Italy, (2015 and 2006), Yaddo, MacDowell and the VCCA in America. Her work has been reviewed in UK and US publications such as The Times, Art In America, The New York Times, The Glasgow Herald, The New Yorker, The Sunday Herald, Contemporary Visual Art, Time Out, The Scotsman and The Independent.
Hardie was the youngest living artist ever to be given a solo show at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, Scotland. She lived in London in the 90s and had solo shows with galleries such as Annely Juda Fine Art and Fischer Fine Art.