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The Crack Magazine

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David Mulholland: Painter

I’d not previously come across the work of David Mulholland (1946-2005) but that’s my loss as he was an artist of rare quality, and this book - a fine collection of his paintings and drawings - should hopefully go some way to making his name more widely known. He was born in South Bank near Middlesbrough and went on graduate with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 1971. He had two acclaimed gallery shows but when he stopped showing his work he continued to paint and draw and this book covers pieces he completed from adolescence to the year of his death. It’s mostly rooted in and around Teesside, both of the people and their environs, and calls to mind the industrial paintings of Norman Cornish and rough-hewn landscapes of Len Tabner. I particularly like the pieces where the people and their surroundings are almost one and the same (in ‘Smithie Rules Ok’ the youthful tearaways seem to spring from the graffiti on the wall they stand in front of) and only rarely does he slide into sentimentality. (Note: Mulholland’s work can be seen at The Dorman Museum until 30 June.) RM

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