Red 1 is an enormous painting and when standing before it the viewer is confronted by a row of figures the same size as themselves. Fry executes this painting with a burning intensity; his red-based palette and loose gestural brushwork create a fixated or hypnotic effect, as if staring at flames. Though the figures are scaled to occupy real space, they are more like ghosts or apparitions, and have an otherworldly or transient quality. Fry conceives them not as separate individuals, but aspects of one single person. The words ‘brain lock’ are repeated along the bottom of the painting; it’s a psychological term used to describe an obsessive or compulsive way of thinking.

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