“Get on with it, do something.”

- Tim Garwood 


Tim Garwood keeps his eyes open and his hands moving. His energy for painting is contagious, and it moves across this suite of works in bright colors, gestural brushstrokes, and layered surfaces that capture the pace of his exploratory practice. The artist describes his process as “hunting for a painting.” Whether for survival or recreation, hunting requires a heightened state of awareness; the hunter inhabits a world that has become more alive. In Garwood’s case, the painter registers and responds to new materials and marks quickly and bravely, the way that a hunter reacts to a sudden sound or motion in the grass. 


Hunting happens both inside Garwood’s studio and outside of it. Things he spots on the streets metamorphose into impromptu ingredients for his paintings. These found items “can be like poking the embers of a fire to get things going again,” he explains. They are catalysts for a new set of moves and methods. In some works, Garwood stretches a black and white tablecloth to form a background; the artist distorts the fabric’s uniform perpendiculars while still retaining its anchoring lines. Garwood battles with and not against this grid. Between motion and rigidity, softness and structure, his bold painting style nonetheless always foregrounds the vigor of the artist’s hand. 


Garwood’s hunt is a search for constant surprise. Some are serendipitous, while others are created by the artist himself. Some works feature brass rings that the artist inserts into found pieces of fabric. The brass pieces resemble grommets for boat sails, imbuing the work with a resonance of industrial functionality that exists outside of the realm of painting. Here Garwood’s intervention reflects his concern with object making: he considers his paintings to be objects rather than pictures of things. Somewhere between sculpture and surface, The artist’s preoccupation with the materiality of paint and paintings is reflected in his works’ collaged components, some of which are cut from older works. These clippings recirculate ideas from previous iterations of Garwood’s practice. Their surfaces record a series of strong decisions that contain a history of effort, elimination, and creation. This dynamism continues to cycle on and on in Garwood’s work. 


— Lauren Moya Ford, January 2020.

Written to coincide with Bad Grammar 

January 18 – March 16, 2018 

Combustión Espontánea, Madrid