‘Max Mason faithfully describes familiar people and places, but with an acidic palette, like Fauvism on Pepto-Bismol. It leaves each scape reverberating with a lights-up, closing-time sense of tension. The urban-pastoral scenes of ‘Bo Red Dog’, 2020, and ‘Clicks’, 2020, are a long way from Derain’s hot and heady rural France and notions of the bucolic vista as pictorial pleasure zone. Mason boldly harnesses the trope and uses it to confrontational effect. The delicious marks and deft detailing of bark and branches appear to challenge the graffiti, sprayed on trunks, for a place in the artificiality stakes. Her (analogue) pushing of the colour curves, as if subjecting the composition to the effects of a pathetic fallacy filter, connects us with the gritty atmospherics of public spaces and the narrative possibilities they foster.’

Rebecca Geldard []