Sue Tompkins: Expressions (3 stars)

Sue Tompkins: Expressions

Photo: Ruth Clark

Bold, rebellious large-scale paintings and smaller works that challenge the boundaries of the canvas

Expressions, the latest exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Sue Tompkins, is presented to us in the bright, neutral expanse of the former glass factory on Aird’s Lane, now part of The Modern Institute. This space is the perfect venue for Tompkins’ large-scale paintings and smaller canvases. Applying bold blocks of textured colour and painted words with her hands, there is an overwhelming sense of self-expression and action in her work.

Tompkins is completely immersed in its production, and this direct association remains true to the final products on show. As an artist for whom language is explored and expressed through painting and performance, Tompkins uses short, fragmented written words. Wielding a scalpel to make sharp, clean incisions on the surface of her paintings, she breaks through the restrictive boundaries of the canvas, echoing the innovative methods of the mid-20th century abstract expressionists.

Tompkins shares their rebellious approach as she becomes part of her work, and in turn allowing the paintings to open up far beyond the scope of the two-dimensional canvas. Expressions is the fourth of Tompkins’ exhibitions with The Modern Institute and, though it uses a less familiar medium for her, it is certainly unlikely to be her last.

The Modern Institute, Glasgow, until Sat 2 Nov.

Sue Tompkins: Expressions

Work by artist who uses both the spoken and written words.