Why have I never heard of Rachel Howard? Is what I thought earlier this year when a gorgeous painting caught my eye as I walked past Blain Southern’s London gallery. Curious, I did a sharp right turn and headed straight in. Where I discovered that the under-the-radar, 49-year-old artist has another larger exhibition opening this week at the stunning Newport Street Gallery. Subsequent research tells me that Howard grew up on a farm in County Durham, graduated from Goldsmith’s in the 1990s and assisted Brit Artist Damien Hirst in the early days. She also had four children in her twenties and recently explained her faff-free approach to inews, ‘I never fanny around in my studio: I’m a doer. When I went into my studio I was an artist – when I went into my front door I was a mother. That’s been my rule pretty much for the last 22 years.’
Rachel Howard’s work has a lovely smudgy, worn quality – the black painted grids and lines and disintegrated layers make her paintings look like old textiles or wallpaper. And Newport Street Gallery is just down the road, so I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.
And there’s a video interview with Rachel Howard (and Will Self) HERE.