‘Freeze Frame’ – A modern take on a 19th century French classic and a tribute to Olympic Park workers
Georges Pierre Seurat was a 19th century French Post-Impressionist painter and was famed for creating a unique painting technique known as pointillism. One of Seurat’s most famous paintings, one of his two masterpieces, is called ‘Bathers at Asnieres’, an oil-on-canvas painting. The legendary painting was created in 1884 and is presently housed in The National Gallery.
‘Bathers at Asnieres’ was produced on a monumental scale, and is of a riverside scene in suburban Paris. The painting consists of several isolated figures either in the River Seine or on its banks with a background of trees followed by an austere boundary of the walls and buildings of Paris.
As a tribute to the workers who have helped construct the London 2012 Olympic Park, the Olympic Park’s artist in residence, Neville Gabie, has created his own version of the ‘Bathers at Asnieres’ painting, which he has named ‘Freeze Frame’. The thought-provoking painting, which adopts similar techniques to the one’s Seurat used, is part of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) Art in the Park programme.
Mimicking the original ‘Bathers at Asnieres’, Gabie’s version replaces the Parisian bathers in the River Seine in this modern version of Bathers at Asnieres with engineers, designers, security staff and gardeners, either taking a well-earned break and relaxing on the banks of the river, or in the water carrying out some work.
In featuring such a range of different construction workers, Gabie’s painting reflects the skills, diversity and tasks of those involved in delivering the infrastructure and venues in the run up to this year’s Games.
Speaking about Neville Gabie’s painting on the official London 2012 website, John Armitt, the Olympic delivery Authority chairman, said:
“The ODA’s Art in the Park programme has strived to commission original and meaningful works. Neville Gabie’s unique take on Seurat’s 19th century masterpiece will capture the iminagination and attention of art lovers as well as those who have worked in the Park. It is a fitting tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to ensure the project will finish in time, within budget and to an excellent standard.”
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