A lot of the buildings we see in London when we’re running around buying materials, have non-functional bits of pre-cast plastic just stuck onto the façades. Which makes a terrible distortion and lie of your cyma recta/cyma reversa that you get in older architecture. Yes, those people did sometimes make those geometric swaggers for decoration, but the internal logic of the thing is left explicit. Whereas an awful lot of postformal architecture does not make sense in terms of an ideal notion of freeing the person in his space. Painting falls foul of the same sort of thing I believe. Too much of the explanation is political, sociological, and market. It’s too much to do with how society works and what pressure groups in society can bring to bear on each other.

If you have a tie-up, for instance, between the museum, the dealers, and the market, the artist who fills their collective brief can do almost anything and expect to get a sort of structure that will carry him. On the level of official recognition, the curator is a promoter who then lends further reinforcement by, very often, writing about the work. And the dealer meliorates as the items find a public. We can say there’s a sort of wheel, and the art that comes out is more involved with sociology of whatever cultural milieu or circle the artist is involved in, than some real well-spring of expression. And I can’t see that limitations in any kind of formal sense has any part in that. It seems to have to do more with what materials are available ‘on instruction’ from within the closed circle.

Frank Bowling.
“Formalism versus New Art: A conversation between Frank Bowling, Paul Harrison, and Jeremy Thomas”Artscribe, No. 44, (December, 1983): 54 - 57.

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19th July 2019


Turps Banana interviews David Salle
Tom Palin on Maurice Utrillo
Suzy Babington by Chris Shaw
Simon Bill : Fine Art Education and ‘Research Culture’
Matthew Lippiatt talks with Ansel Krut
Marcus Harvey on Francis Bacon
playpaint London by Ian Gonczarow
Nick Fudge in conversation with Römer + Römer
Roberta Booth by Marcus Harvey
Scott McCracken on Victor Willing



"An artist’s work will get reported on if it sells to a special person or for a lot of money, but no one writes about art if it’s just there on the wall or on the floor. They write about it as a transaction, not just because it exists. Like, all the images from Basel Hong Kong were of Jeff Koons unveiling his sculpture. No photos of the sculptures; it’s the celebrity people are interested in, not the art. Not even the artist. They don’t care about his ideas, they care that he has made a lot of money and become famous. That’s the whole lifestyle thing. Art as decoration, art as all sorts of things, but not as the difficult philosophical proposition which is to me the most interesting thing about it. I miss having discussions about problems within painting and that never gets discussed anymore. I think places like Louisiana or Tate get big numbers but it’s not purely about art. It’s about a more general user experience: Location, landscape, food and so on. The audience that comes for art rather than experience is really small.
You know, I’m not some naïve idiot. I know that there’s the whole art world around it, but you would think that art is still in there somewhere. Like, there’s a whole world around football, but still people do talk about football. Of course they also talk about the price of the players or transfer windows and so on, but they still most of the time talk about football and the actual game that is taking place. Whereas with art it seems like everything around it is the discussion, and the actual discussion has disappeared. It’s just about transaction, it’s just about who moved from which gallery to which gallery, which gallery shows what, who suing who and so on. Who gives a fuck, really?"

David Risley on closing his Copenhagen gallery.
Interview for by Louise Steiwer.

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20th July 2018


George Blacklock in conversation with Brice Marden
Barry Schwabsky interviewing Andrew Hunt
Heike Kelter in conversation with Rosa Loy
Phil King on Mark Sibley
David Schutter in conversation with Andre Butzer
Turps Banana in conversation with Bettina Semmer
John Singer Sargent
Karen Roultstone on Barbara Nicholls
Graham Crowley on John Stark
Si Sapsford tries the Sight-Size method.



Vehicles (medium): linseed oil, walnut oil (often in whites, blues and light colours) turpentine, pine resin (trace amounts often found in glazes, said to come from turpentine); egg (white, yolk) (detected in some paintings).

Supports: Panels: made of oak planks from circa 1.2cm (1610s) to 0.6cm (1630s) thick. covered by calcium carbonate chalk in glue (gesso) and a streaky priming (imprimatura) of yellow or brown earths or/and charcoal black, sometimes some lead white, in oil or in a medium containing egg, possibly an egg-oil emulsion.

Canvas: usually tabby weave linen with a double oil priming: a yellowish or reddish thicker layer (yellow or red earths, chalk, sometimes small quantities of other pigments) covered with an opaque thinner grey or buff layer (lead white and charcoal black).

Painting materials of Peter Paul Rubens
Lala Ragimov, 2009.

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26th January 2018


Katie Pratt in conversation with Suzan Frecon
James Fisher on Ken Kiff's Sequence
Turps Banana interviews Helmut Middendorf
Glenn Brown in conversation with Albert Oehlen
Sofia Silva on Werner Buttner
Simon Linke
Scott McCracken talks painting with Rachel Maclean
Trevor Burgess in conversation with John Kiki
Joni Spigler interviews Jane Harris



Limited edition cover by Jonathan Meese
The first 2000 copies of Issue 18 have a special intervention on the cover by Berlin artist Jonathan Meese.

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22nd July 2017


Turps Banana in Conversation with Jonathan Meese
Michael Szpakowski on Alicia Paz
Derrick Guild in Conversation with Paul Reid
Jake Clark on John Bratby
Sarah Lucas FunQroc
Marcus Harvey on Ray Richardson
Susie Hamilton in Conversation with Nick Fudge
Simon Willems on Norbert Schwontkowski
Robert Mead on Jeffrey Dennis's Paintings and Painting Objects
Charley Peters on Jean Spencer



In this special New York edition of Turps Banana we invited New York native painter Thomas Nozkowski to commission features from artists whom he knows and admires. 

We offer our gratitude to Tom and the artists involved in producing this issue

Phil King and Marcus Harvey

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Guest Edited by Thomas Nozkowski

January 2017


Peter Saul in conversation with Mark Greenwold
Biggs & Collings on Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy
Friends: Chris Martin, Peter Acheson and Katherine Bradford
David Reed on Pat Passlof
A Conversation | Tom McGlynn
Elliot Green on Tom Burckhardt
Suzan Frecon on Louise Fishman
A Correspondence | Mary Simpson and Joanne Greenbaum
May 1995 | Glenn Brown reviews De Kooning
Wendy White visits EJ Hauser
Keith Mayerson's American Dream
Thomas Nozkowski on Jane Freilicher
Phil King deals with Clyfford Still



What do I feel when I make painting? Well it’s a kind of intriguing question, what does one feel? 
You feel so many things. One thing I think I can say, and underline, is that what you tend not to feel is emotion, or emotion that you are aware of. I think it’s a kind of labour and so what you’re doing is you’re… you’re involved in laying down of a kind of craft, which is interesting isn’t it? 
I mean I’m sure some people feel so emotional they are kind of dancing up and down having a great time screaming and crying. It’s not for me. It takes such a long time to find your language, it’s taken me a long time, and I still think I’m finding it, but I know that I’m closer to a language which is coherent and recognisably mine, but I’ve made many many mistakes along the way.
It’s been quite a struggle. I do feel that when you look at a painting the first thing that you must see is the painting itself and then the image later, and if that happens then the painting is halfway to working.

Michael Simpson: Odyssey of a Painter
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. 2016

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26th January 2018


 Katie Pratt in Conversation with  Jonathan Lasker
How Can We Think About Abstract Painting? Pt.2 by Simon Bill
Ian Davenport in Conversation with  Clem Crosby
Fifteen Things to Know About American Painter Marlon Mullen by Tim Buckwalter
Philip Booth in Conversation with  George Shaw
Picture Dealing. Jo Persona, everyday content provider
Slipping Into a Glimpse by Suzanne Holtom
In Conversation Shani Rhys James and Iwan Bala
In Conversation Ali Banisadr and Marius Bercea*
Katrina Blannin in Conversation with  Vanessa Jackson
Simon Gales A Rush Hour Conversation with Turps Banana

Correction: Due to a proofing error the first two questions in the conversation between Ali Banisadr and Marius Bercea were wrongly attributed. We apologise to both of the artists for the error and the corrected text appears here.



"We are now coming out of the long period during which
painting always minimized itself as painting in order to ‘purify’
itself, to sharpen and intensify itself as art. Perhaps with the new
‘photogenic’ painting it is at last coming to laugh at that part of itself
which sought the intransitive gesture, the pure sign, the ‘trace’.
Here it agrees to become a thoroughfare, an infinite transition, a busy
and crowded painting. And in opening itself up to so many events
that it relaunches, it incorporates all the techniques of the image:
it re-establishes its relationship with them, to connect to them,
to amplify them, to multiply them, to disturb them or deflect them."

Michel Foucault
Photogenic Painting 1975

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July 2016


Markus Lüpertz in conversation with Turps Banana
How Can We Think About Abstract Painting? Pt.1 by Simon Bill
Juan Bolivar in conversation with John Greenwood
On Forgetting Paul Klee by Phil King
A Form of Making. Hannah Brown by Graham Crowley
Paul Peden in conversation with Duncan Newton
Mira Schor at Some Walls By Chris Ashley
The Future is Bright. The Future is Cadmium Orange By Paul Robinson
Sofia Silva in conversation with Paulina Olowska
A Painting by Christopher McHugh By Michael Szpakowski



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24th July 2014


Peter Halley in conversation with Juan Bolivar
Christian Mieves interviews Dana Schutz
An Encounter Between Two Painters by Jeffrey Steele
Cadmium in Crisis
Joanna Kirk by Victoria Rance
Portrait of a Painter by Sofia Silva
Mitch Speed on Elizabeth McIntosh
Martin Constable on Contrast
The Correspondents 2012 -13 turps correspondence course painters
Michael Freeman and Neal Rock in Converstation
The Banana by Philip Booth
Review by Naomi Frears



Late in life, Claude Monet told Marc Elder the story behind this painting:

'This delightful painting by Renoir, which I am so pleased to own, is a portrait of my first wife. It was painted in our garden at Argenteuil when Manet, enchanted by the colour and the light, had decided to do an open - air painting of pople underneath the trees. While he was working, Renoir arrived. The charm of the hour appealed to him too, and he asked me for a palette, a brush and a canvas, and then he was painting side by side with Manet. Manet watched him out of the corner of his eye and went over to look a at his canvas from time to time. He would grimace, slip over to me, point at Renoir and whisper in my ear, 'That boy has no talent. You're his friend , tell him to give up painting!' .... Isn't that funny, coming from Manet?'

Anne Distel, from the commentary section of the catalogue of a major Renoir exhibition in 1985 at the Hayward Gallery , London.

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July 2013


Bomberg after Auerbach after Brown by John Chilver
Tim Renshaw on John Wilkins
Stewart Geddes in conversation with Bert Irvin
Michael Szpakowski on Jake Longstreth
Turps interviews Matthew Collings and Emma Biggs
Katrina Blannin interviews Andrew Bick
Geraldine Swayne interviews Lee Maelzer
Dan Coombs interviews Tim Allen
Painters from the Turps Painting Programme
Reviews from New York City



'Gavin Lockheart: You teach in Dusseldorf. What would you say your approach to teaching is?

Peter Doig: It's funny, here in England they call it 'teaching', there they don't really use the word 'teaching'.  I remember when I first started there I mentioned the word to Markus Lupertz who was head of the Academy in Dusseldorf, and he looked at me and said " We don't teach". Which is true. There's nothing you can teach; you can have conversations and discussions but you're not teaching anyone anything. Its just phrasing really. I agree with him. the thing I like about the system there is that the students are with you a long time, up to six years, so you build up a strong relationsip with the student and the work, and find ways of talking about it, and you hope they find ways of talking about it. I said to them at the beginning that "I want you to all be able to talk about your work, I don't care if you just stand next to it and make noises, you don't have to say it in a particular way". Sometimes the work speaks for itself or other people do the talking, but that's an important part of the whole thing, that you feel comfortable, confident with what you do, you don't have to hide behind it, feel shy.  You want to build up confidence alongside your work.'


From Issue Nine of Turps Banana.

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January 2013


David Leeson interviews Bernard Cohen
Lucy Stein and Alasdair Gray on Carole Gibbons
Mali Morris interviews Geoff Ridgen
Nancy Cogswell interviews two leading conservators at the National Gallery, Washington DC
Joan Key on Amiken Toren
Paul Robinson on White
Clive Hodgson by Neil Clements
Geraint Evans by Damien Meade
And more…..



They’re just paintings. This is what’s so hard to get over about Pollock’s work, what can make you shut up suddenly, confounded. The radical materiality, the almost stupid factuality of it – both in and beyond the felicity and the mastery – can stop you dead because of what it’s about. It is the factuality of sheer human limitation, the dead end of the romantic, of desire. It’s like getting to a place where the gods are supposed to be and finding nothing. A discovery like that should kill you but it doesn’t. The painting keeps being a painting, beautiful and lively and forlorn.

You feel – I feel – that this might be something worth remembering and worth being true to. It gives a taste of truth that, with courage and luck, might just become a predilection, a habit of being true. It would be nice to have this art always accessible, for recovering the taste in its original sharpness, as sharp and unmistakeable as tears on the tongue.

From Les Drippings in Paris, a review of the Pollock restrospective at The Pompidou Centre (4 Feb – 19 April 1982) by Peter Schjeldahl, first published in the Village Voice



Spring 2012


Peter Dickinson interviews Katharina Grosse
Jeffrey Steele in conversation with Katrina Blannin
Leon Spilliaert by Paul Becker
Nicola Churchwood interviews
Ellen Altfest
Humphrey Ocean on Anthony Eyton
The Banana by Chantal Joffe
Damien Meade A History of Fear by Geraint Evans
and Reviews...



When I met Sean Scully in Munich a few months ago I found that he was open, caring and generous, and certain of his own nature. I suppose this could be construed by some as arrogant, but for me there was a humility and tenderness in his self knowledge. Scully knows what he is aiming for and I feel that he has always hit his target. I think he has achieved the musical recognition to which he makes comparison in so much that you can spot a Scully from a glimpse. But if you spend time to 'listen' to each piece you will find the insight and the condition of the soul within - mine, yours and his. The fight and the patience required is universal, the simplicity is deceptive.

Introduction to Peter Dickinson's conversation with Sean Scully for Turps Banana #10

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Autumn 2011


Sean Scully in Conversation with Peter Dickinson
Through a Glass Darkly by David Leeson
Che Lovelace in Conversation with Peter Doig
Jeff McMillan Interviews Rose Wylie
Jasper and Harry’s Tate Modern
Desert Island Painting
and more...



Your sense that the ’50s work and early ’60s was “forced” to “look” “abstract” was the largest part of the comic-absurd subject. I knew it at the time but couldn’t tell anyone. The word FINIS really means that things are beginning to be understood. And one’s greatest desire finally is not to be merely liked, etc but to be understood.’

Philip Guston, from a letter to Ross Feld in Guston in Time, published by Counterpoint, New York, 2003

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Winter 2010


Gavin Lockheart interviews Peter Doig
Peter Dickinson interviews John Hoyland
Christopher P Wood and Nicholas Usherwood on Sidney Nolan
Gordon Burn on Court Artists
Andy Holden on Phil Root
Uncharted Planet by Jonathon Parsons
Andy Child on Paul Nash
Paul Robinson on Vermillion Cadmium Red
The Banana by Ryan Mosley
and more...



"Since 1972 I have produced three to five gouaches a day. I have principles connected with this new medium:

1. Never rub out or attempt to erase. Work round it if you have made a mistake. Make of your mistakes a strength rather than a weakness.

2. Wait for it. That is , if you don't get a clear message, do nothing.

3. If you have a full brush and you have made a mark, do not think that you have to use the paint on your brush - wash it out.

4. As in life, it is not so much what you put in but what you leave out that counts.

5. Paint as if you were painting a wall (Bissiere).

6. No colour stands alone. They are all influenced by each other. This is when the dicey part comes in. I mean the balancing act.

7. Most pictures can be pulled round. If you run into head winds, tear it up.

8. Don't drink and smoke so much & lay off the nudes. Nice, but too easy a gambit."

 Roger Hilton, from The Figured Language of Thought by Andrew Lambirth, published by Thames and Hudson, 2007.

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Spring 2010


Declan McMullan on The Murals of Northern Ireland 
Robert Bordo in Conversation with Steve DiBenedetto
Marcus Harvey Interviews Basil Beattie
Stuart Elliot on Simon Callery
In the Studio: Robert Welch's Paintings by Mali Morris
The Banana by Damien Hirst
and more...



"The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;

And, as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poets pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name,"

 William Shakespeare, from Theseus's speech in A Midsummer Night's Dream, published in 1600

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Autumn 2009


Thomas Nozkowski in Conversation with Garth Lewis
Anslem Kiefer in Converstation with Marcus Harvey
Sympathetic Magic : On Keith Vaughan by Paul Becker
Felix Vallotton: Genres and Shallow Waters by John Chilver
Rose Mader and Alizarin by Paul Robinson
Mali Morris: The Intelligence Of Colour by Peter Suchin
On Howard Dyke by Stephanie Moran
Joash Woodrow by Chris Wood
Lars Hertervig by Leigh Clarke
A Fictitious Interview with the legendary Dutch forger Han van Meegeren by Keith Coventry
Patrick Oliver by Marcus Harvey
The Banana by Keith Tyson
and more



"Painting is the art which reminds us that time and the visible come into being together, as a pair. The place of their coming into being is the human mind, which can coordinate events into  time sequence and appearances into a world seen.

With this coing into being of time and the visible, a dialogue between presence and absence begins. We all live this dialogue."

From Success and Failure of Picasso by John Berger, first published by Penguin Books, London in 1965 and then by Granta Books , London 1992

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Autumn 2009


Beryl Cook by Dan Coombs
Leon Golub interviewed by Turps
Hitchhiking: Peter Jones discusses Alex Katz' paintings
Biography of a Painting 2 by Tom Phillips
Jim Shaw in Conversation with Andy Holden
The Paintings of Ron Delavigne by Jason Sumray
Pictures from the Pole: Feliks Topolski's Users Guide to the Twentieth Century by Jeffrey Dennis
Givers Never Lack by Neal Tait
The Cartoon by David Rayson
plus more reviews...



"Painting is a medium of concerted imagination, symbolizing consciousness. It's not a flat dump for miscellaneous ideas.'

From Funhouse, a review of the Jeff Koons retrospective in New York by Peter Schjeldahl, published in The New Yorker, 9 June 2008

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Autumn 2008


No Bones About It. Turps interviews John Walker
A Ferocious Dog Lives in Rome. David Austen Meets Enzo Cucchi
David Austin: Surfacing at the Crossroads by Martin Westwood
Andre Derain by Merlin James
Alan Davie in Conversation with Andy Holden
New Technology, The Old Masters and Their Joint Effect On The Look Of The Contemporary Blockbuster by Martin Constable
Julian Wakelin: Doing What Needs To Be Done by Peter Suchin
Gerald Hemsworth: A Question of Rhetoric by Michael Stubbs
Roderick Harris: From the Corner of the Living Room by Dan Hays
Faraway so Close: Marc Hulson discusses Dan Hays' work
Landfill: Peter Davis discusses Jeremy Butler's work
The Cartoon by The Chapmans



'Ultimately, however, Hamilton notes that, "the 100 percent resolution of oil paint on canvas is still unmatched".'

 From an essay by Michael Bracewell on Richard Hamilton's A Host Of Angels series, published in Issue 13 of Art Review (June/ July 2007)

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Spring 2008


William Hogarth's Christ At The Pool Of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan by Leigh Clarke
Wandering In The Zone: The Hero Paintings of Georg Baselitz And Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow by Andrew Child
Taste Is The Death of A Painter by Annabel Thomas
Sylvia Sleigh In Conversation With Ellen Altfest
Alice Neel by Chantal Joffe
Dawn Mellor: The Flowers of Evil by Mathew Weir
Covadonga Valdes by Geraint Evans
Realism And The Work of the Boyle Family by Jock McFayden
The Cartoon by Dawn Mellor
Biography of a Painting I by Tom Phillips
Brian Sayers: Clocking on by Jeffrey Dennis
Watch out for The Skin Deep. David Leeson discusses the paintings by Carol Rhodes
Ike and Me by David Humphrey
The Bananas
Plus reviews....



'Braque was saying the other day, 'Cubism is a word invented by the critics, but we were never Cubists.' That isn't exactly so. we were, at one time, Cubists, but as we drew away from that period we found that, more than just Cubists, we were individuals dedicated to ourselves. As soon as we saw that the collective adventure was a lost cause, each one of us had to find an individual adventure.'

 Pablo Picasso, from Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot, Virago Press Ltd.

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The Difference Between a Wolf and a Dog. Wayne Thiebaud in conversation with Colin Smith
A Fellow Painter's view of Giorgio Morandi by Wayne Thiebaud
Serge Charchoune: The Abstract School by Merlin James
Searching for the Murky Puddle. Mark Wright discusses paintings by Arkhip Kuindzhi
Marathon Man. Alexis Harding in conversation with Paul Bonaventura
The Banana by Ansel Krut
The Man with the Dark Glasses. David Ben White interviews Luc Tuymans
Dick Bengtsson by Richard Clegg and Jake Clarke
'To think is to speculate with images' Roderick Harris discusses Michael Simpson's paintings.
Plus more reviews...



'Most things in the world are absolute in terms of taking someone's word for it. For example, rulers. But if you yourself made a sphere, you could never know if it was one. That fascinates me. Nobody will know it. It cannot be proven, so long as you avoid instruments. If I made a sphere and asked you, "Is it a perfect sphere?" you would answer, "How should I know?" I could insist that it looks like a perfect sphere. But if you looked at it, after a while you would say, " I think it's a bit flat over here." That's what fascinates me - to make something I can never be sure of, and no one else can either. I will never know, and no one else will ever know.'

 William de Kooning, from an interview with Harold Rosenberg, first published in Art News, vol. 71, no. 5. September 1972, pp. 54 - 59

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George Condo's Elite Pathology by Nigel Cooke
Paintings by Nigel Cooke discussed by Sean Ashton
Yesterday Belongs to Me. Harland Miller writes about Anslem Kiefer
The Things at the Edge of the Scene. Tim Renshaw writes about Anne Ryan's Paintings
Tim Renshaw by Cath Ferguson
You Need a Long Brush to Paint the Past. George Shaw writes about Constable
A Different Kind of Difficulty - The Late Karl Weschke by Colin Smith
Portraits From A Prison Camp. Marcus Harvey writes about Ray Newell's paintings, made while a prisoner during the Second World War.
Last Exit - Caravaggio, The Final Years by David Leeson
The Calling of Michelangelo by Andrew Mummery
The Banana by Christian Ward
Plus more reviews…



The idea to establish a magazine about painting, made predominately by painters, became concrete about two years ago during one of our many discussions/arguments about our own work and other painters that interested us. We, along with most of our friends , have a long history of such discussions (usually in the pub) and built on fairly regular studio visits. These discussions are vital to us and we wondered if there might be a demand for a magazine that could act as a forum for the ideas and views of painters.

Partly because art criticism is not a science and because we believe good painting is not driven by ideological principles, Turps Banana does not carry a singular position or attitude about painting , but is as open as possible, in order to allow dialogues to develop. What excites us most is that uniquely, the contributors are not critics or professional art writers, but practitioners whose contributions will hopefully illuminate their own practice as they reflect on their contemporaries and their interest in the history of painting. We aim to publish correspondence on a letters page, and also pursue interesting suggestions through future features so the magazine may become a receptive vehicle for those interested in painting. Please use it by emailing

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7th July 2005


Picture Research. Merlin James on the Alinari Studio
Painting Pictures. Peter Jones discusses paintings by Merlin James, made in response to the Alinari Photographs
Some Stick For The Dogma. Reflections on Richard Diebenkorn's mid period work by Colin Smith
The Artist as Athlete Cuts of Arm to Run Faster. Neal Tait on Luc Tuymans retropsective at Tate Modern and K21, 2004
New Figurative Paintings. Damien Hirst talks to Turps about his new paintings
The Texan. A Drawing made for Turps by Reece Jones
Plus Reviews..