Art Chronicles: George Shaw 1

Great to see the painter George Shaw, several of whose pieces are in this year’s British Art Show, on the short list for this year’s Turner Prize. One, because – all too rarely in TP circle – he is actually a painter, and two, because ever since I first came across his work some seven or eight years ago, he’s been one of my favourite artists.

Using the kind of enamel paint favoured by model-makers, most of Shaw’s work is set in and around the housing estate in Coventry where he was brought up – strangely empty urban landscapes which have a sinister and often despairing quality and which – for me – beg the question again and again as to what kind of lives are led by the largely unseen inhabitants, what feelings and ideas are tamped down in their minds, waiting to escape or explode.