Walter Price ‘Pearl Lines’

Installation view, 'Pearl Lines', The Modern Institute, Osborne Street, Glasgow, 2022
The Modern Institute, 14–20 Osborne Street, Glasgow

Walter Price presents Pearl Lines a body of new paintings at The Modern Institute Osborne Street. Price’s work plays between figuration and abstraction, exhausting repeating motifs and adding familiarity and nostalgia to his work by reflecting on his past in the navy then making it visible in his present.

Focusing on the location of Osborne St, a former bathhouse, Price mirrors his 2018 show by engulfing the gallery interior in a deep ultramarine blue. Price’s attention to the colour blue is echoed in the new works, where a range of blue tones dominate the canvas, ranging from tactile abstract seascapes to landscapes layered within the figurative works that are parallel to Price’s drawings.

‘Young lady reading’ is based on the painting of the same title by Mary Cassatt painted in 1878. The painting depicts a young woman struggling to read, Price’s interpretation adds a secondary figure and uses this character to pay homage to his own family dynamic and the importance of education and family support. Familiar motifs of stars, armchairs, umbrellas, and hats are recurring symbols, often hidden within the paintings, these codes act as autobiographical notes, cultural ciphers reflecting and commenting on memory, social observations, political stances, and questions of identity.

Price’s work is about these collective themes and the aesthetic and history of painting, an act of converting experiences into colour and line with a tangible medium.