Wednesday, 21 September 2016

'Century' at Jerwood: Dora Carrington

Dora Carrington, Iris Tree on a Horse, mixed media on glass, 1920s (Ingram Collection)

This jewel of a picture was made for one of the most famous models in early 20th century Paris. A British actress and poet with a bobbed haircut and scandalous reputation, Iris Tree (1897-1968) modelled for artists as diverse as Modigliani, Jacob Epstein and Vanessa Bell. In this case Carrington has portrayed her as a modern Joan of Arc, complete with spurs and sword – an upbeat, talismanic image that Iris Tree herself evidently admired. Years later, when she lived in a one-room flat in Rome (and appeared in Fellini’s celebrated film ‘La Dolce Vita’), she had it with her, propped against a pile of books.

Dora Carrington is among one hundred modern British artists whose work will be shown in 'Century', an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints from the Ingram Collection and Jerwood Collection, which opens next month at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ravilious & Bawden at the Art Workers' Guild

Neil Jennings has gathered together an intriguing group of pictures for his next exhibition at the Art Workers' Guild in deepest Bloomsbury. Alongside drawings, engravings and lithos by Ravilious and Bawden he's showing more recent work by two artists whose shared skills and interests make them almost the heirs of Eric and Edward.

Edward Bawden, The Economy Committee, 1930 (copyright artist's estate)
Ian Beck and Glynn Boyd Harte were close friends until the latter's death in 2003, and both worked on either side of the (unnecessary) line between fine art and commercial design, as Ian continues to do.

Eric Ravilious, Introductory Lithograph, Submarine Series, 1941

For people who don't know the Art Workers' Guild I recommend a visit anyway. It's one of London's hidden delights. Besides Neil's exhibitions always seem to offer a good balance of the familiar and the less familiar - and they're always fun.

Ian Beck, Communication, 1981 (artist's copyright)
Glynn Boyd Harte painted the watercolour below shortly before his death. If I remember rightly, in fact, he had already survived one scare, and took the opportunity provided by his reprieve to produce a whole series of still life pictures like this - nobody else saw the world quite like he did.

Glynn Boyd Harte, Etrilles, 2003

Sunday, 4 September 2016

'Century' at Jerwood: Gerald Laing

Gerald Laing, Panoply, 1964-9, Ingram Collection (copyright artist estate)

A British artist who moved to New York in 1964, Laing embraced the big scale and glamour of American Pop art. Thrilled by the energy and excitement of modern life, he painted movie stars, skydivers, drag racers and astronauts. Here, we see two sides of the astronaut’s experience, on one hand the silent world of space represented by the repeated image of a floating figure, and on the other the rocket’s violent flaming energy.

Gerald Laing is one of 100 modern British artists to be featured in 'Century' at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings. Laing is also the subject of an exciting retrospective show at the Fine Art Society, London, which begins on 19 September.

Friday, 2 September 2016

'Century' at Jerwood: Euan Uglow

Euan Uglow, The Blue Towel, 1982-3, Jerwood Collection (artist copyright)

‘Basically I’m trying to paint a structured painting full of controlled, and therefore potent, emotion.’ So wrote Uglow of a painstaking working method in which precise measurement and great care in paint handling played an important role both in defining figures and in evoking a specific mood. In this unusual composition we see a figure – modelled on artist Liz Barratt – in three consecutive poses as she collects a towel and walks away to bathe. We sense her almost floating on silent feet, immersed in a private ritual.

'The Blue Towel' is one of over 100 works by 100 modern British artists, selected from the Jerwood and Ingram Collections, which will be featured in 'Century' at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings this autumn.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Gawain in Cardiff

Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Gawain Arrives at Fair Castle, gouache, 2016 (artist copyright)

The artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins and Dan Bugg of the Penfold Press are delighted to announce an exhibition of screen prints on the theme of Gawain and the Green Knight, together with preparatory drawings and paintings, at The Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins is devising a series of 14 limited-edition prints based on the medieval verse drama, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – a classic vividly translated for the 21st century by Simon Armitage. The exhibition will mark the half-way stage in this major project.

Sir Gawain is more human than your average legendary hero. Having taken up the challenge offered at the Camelot Christmas feast by the terrifying Green Knight, he embarks on a quest to find this ogre, only to be tested – and found wanting – in unexpected ways. Sir Gawain is both a glittering knight and a fallible young man, and it is this flawed human character that intrigues Clive. Each print is inspired by the text and rooted stylistically in its world, but beyond that Clive and Dan have allowed their imagination free rein.

Over the past twenty-five years Clive Hicks-Jenkins has achieved renown in his native Wales and beyond as a painter of rare vision. He came to painting by an unusual route, having first enjoyed a successful career as actor, director, choreographer and stage designer. Today his paintings of figures and animals are so striking, at least in part, because of the continual dialogue between design and dance, structure and movement. Clive’s complex creative process enhances this effect, particularly his use of articulated maquettes; these allow him to pose people and animals in ways that enhance negative space and add emotional expression and a sense of suppressed movement. This dynamism suits Clive’s penchant for narrative painting. He takes inspiration from religious stories, Welsh legends, modern dramas and medieval verse.

Dan Bugg studied printmaking at the Royal College of Art. He launched the Penfold Press more than a decade ago as a printmaking studio for fine artists, and he has since worked regularly with Mark Hearld, Emily Sutton and other creative talents to produce beautiful editioned screen prints that are sought-after by collectors and art lovers.

I'm a sort of writer-in-residence on the project, and have provided captions for the exhibition, which will be stunning. Find it at the Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff, from 8 Sept until the end of the month.