Robert Welch by Mali Morris

Chris Horrocks from ‘Critical Faculty’


Rob Welch’s painting has shifted its concerns to the structure of landscape as an extension of interior space: often the external world is represented as architecturally framed by, and seen in terms of, a window. Welch sets himself the task of reconciling inside with outside, and his latest work moves away from atmospheric mimesis to confront the linearity of the picture plane. This radical shift subordinates landscape to its representation. Often what gives the pictures their unity is the sense of an architecture that can extend beyond the edge of the paintings, as a supplement and frame.

Kapil Jariwala, Catalog introduction and Press Release


Robert Welch makes some of the most sublime paintings, he brings serenity through his subtle understanding of colour and the bold simplification of drawing and shape. There is a sense of anticipation in these paintings, they have been cleared of clutter to herald the viewer to the world of the painting, a pure world of colour.

Welch paints either directly from the subject matter or increasingly goes to the studio with ideas started elsewhere, the distinction between these two activities is important in understanding Robert Welch as a painter. Firstly the speed employed in his outdoor paintings is essential to maintain the rhythmn of his responses, like a jazz improvisor making instant decisions to the shifting structure of music, they are ‘live’ paintings and often have the awkwardness of something seen for the first time.

The studio are much cooler and radiate deliberation borne out of detatchment. In these paintings Welch manipulates the plasticity with the verve and daring of an abstract painter, free from the bond of local colour and descriptive exactitutde; the only commitment the painting has is to be true to itself.

Tim Hilton, The Guardian

‘I recommend the sturdy naturalistic paintings by Robert Welch. He is one of the most serious of our figurative artists, yet his vision owes a lot to his abstractionist contemporaries.’

Mike Butler, Manchester Evening News

‘Robert Welch combines Matisse’s opulence with a very English ‘kitchen sink’ candour.’

Robert Welch by Mali Morris