Born Philippines, 1988, lives and works in London
Maria Farrar’s paintings combine art historical and contemporary influences, traversing multicultural styles and art-making processes. Born in the Philippines and raised in Japan, her canvases clearly display the legacy of her formative engagement with calligraphy, which now pushes to the surface through masterful, singularly descriptive brushwork. She analogises her painting process, an instinctive deployment of form to ground, object to negative space, as akin to the apocryphal stories of Michelangelo confronted with blank hunks of virgin marble, that through a process of reduction – a taking away – that forms inherently contained within the medium are revealed. Similarly, Farrar thinks of subjects and painterly gestures that might best evoke them, then follows the path dictated by minimum intervention. Her resulting, characteristically honest paintings of observations, or of memories from faraway times in faraway places are beautifully joyous. Objects or moments become the singular focus of Farrar’s drawings with oil, pulled from context and rendered in a subtle, atmospheric palette, just before the point of abstraction.
straits, Maria Farrar’s first solo exhibition with mother’s tankstation limited, took place in May 2017. She will participate in the exhibition Known Unknowns at Saatchi Gallery in Spring 2018. Recent activities include a solo exhibition with Supplement Gallery, London and residency at the British School at Rome, awarded through the Derek Hill Foundation Scholarship (both 2016). Farrar also recently received the Melville Nettleship Prize at Slade School of Art, where she graduated with a Masters of Fine Art, Painting; she received her BFA from Ruskin School of Art.