Drawing from the timeless morality of myth, Lothar Hempel pictures the heroic Jason as a god-like form, a portent of tragedy. Taking reference from ancient Greek theatre, Hempel’s figures rely on a minimum action and presentation in order to maximise the audience’s imagination and response. Characters’ attributes are defined solely by their costumes, their emotions by sculptural masks. His figures’ stylised stance and armless torsos restrain overt gestures of action, their ‘storytelling’ unfolds from symbolic and psychological interpretation rather than physical illustration. In Jason, Hempel paints his figure standing over a two-toned ground, walking from white to black: a climatic moment foretelling fatal misadventure.

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