Posts filed under 'Exhibitions'

Eric Sykes on display

My portrait of Eric Sykes was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery last week and is on show now for a while in their new re-hang to coincide with the Man ray exhibition. It is on the ground floor gallery space .

February 17th, 2013

Metro Gallery – Melbourne

6 Realist artists, including myself ,were invited to participate in an exhibition called  “British Realism Now ” by the Metro Gallery in Melbourne. It opens next week until 24th December 2012 and we’re delighted to be flying the flag for British Realism, a big underground movement in British art  but not seen in Australia before.

December 2nd, 2012

CURRENT AND FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONS

It’s a busy time at the moment, I working my way through a series of commissions and I’ve got these exhibitions in the pipeline.

1. The Frissiras Museum in Athens currently have a large exhibition of works in their collection on at the moment and my painting “Pretending to Be Jesus” is in the show. There’s a huge thick catalogue to accompany the show which would have gone a long way to paying off Greece’s national debt had the funds been invested that way. If you’re in Athens, ( an interesting place at the moment) the exhibition runs until 30th September.

 

2. I will be exhibiting my portrait of Eric Sykes at the annual Royal Society of Portrait Painters exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Off the top of my head I think it opens on 2nd May for about two weeks.

3. Also in May The New Art Gallery, Walsall are shoing my very first public commission which I did in 1994. It was called Les and Ernie and featured two pigeon racers from Walsall. It seems like a lifetime ago now when I did that but I still like it. It’s in a different style than my realist work. When I did my MA I was really interested in Stanley Spencer and it’s really influenced by his style. The Exhibition starts in May.

4. I’m showing some work in Melbourne at the Metro Gallery with some of the artists from Plus One Gallery. It’s a showcase of British Realism. This show opens in October.

5. I don’t want to say too much about the final show at the moment because it’s still being put together but it’s in October at a major public contemporary art gallery in Prague. It’s a survey of contemporary British painting with some pretty heavy weight artists so I was very flattered to have been asked to exhibit in the show. More later…

April 23rd, 2012

LUCIAN FREUD PRIVATE VIEW – 14/2/12 NPG

Anne and myself went to the private view of the new Freud exhibition last Tuesday evening at the NPG. I’d been looking forward to it for months and it was even better than I had hoped for. We got there early so that we cou;ld have a quiet look around and for the first 15 minutes it was a very “private” view which was lovely. It’s got basically everything , form his very early work in the 40’s to the last, poignantly unfinished painting that he made in 2011. It’s the best exhibition I’ve been to in the past 10 years I’d say. It made me realise just how powerful and emotive an exhibition created from the human hand and touch can be. So often I go to public art gallery shows which are full of piss boring video loops and “witty” / ironic installations which just leave me cold, as emotionally engaging as a visit to DFS or B&Q. Freud’s show felt real, important, serious, ambitious, demanding, energetic, physical. From this show I think the work he did in the 50’s and 90’s are the most triumphant, his large eyed paintings of Kitty and his huge paintings of Leigh Bowery in the 90’s. Quite incredible. Other artists that I know were at the show including Tai-Shan Schierenberg, Ishbel Myerscough, Stuart Pearson Wright, Mike Gaskell and myself and I think it’s fair to say that Freuds influence has touched us all in our work as he has hundreds of other artists, he is truely a giant of Britishfigurative art and this show really points that out. There’s a great catalogue to accompany the show too , beautifully illustrated. well woth a visit if you’re in London. runs until the end of May

February 22nd, 2012

New Exhibition – The Quality of Things – Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery 30th July – October 2011

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Gwynedd museum and art gallery  in north Wales  are showing two of my paintings in the exhibition “The Quality of Things” They are two paintings about my late Grandparents on my mothers side which I made in the mid 1990’s which seems and extremely long time ago now. They were responses to people who meant a lot to me in their old age and subsequent death and these two paintings reflect that theme. Below are the two labels which describe my thoughts about the paintings. If you click on the image they should enlarge.

THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE – GLADYS AND WALTER GREAVES

 This is a portrait of my Grandparents Gladys and Walter Greaves in their terraced house in Bloxwich, just outside Walsall in the West Midlands. I knew that they were both getting older and I wanted to capture them both in their home. I made this painting in 1993.

The theme of the painting is “natural forms and synthetic forms”. If you look at the painting Walter is eating an apple which he used to get from the back of the local supermarket when they got rid of them because they were bruised . He has cut the bruises out and it almost echoes the facial characteristics of his face, for example the eye sockets. I made this comparison because the apple is a natural form with natural life cycles in that it is conceived, born, lives , dies. Over on the washing tub there is some decorative artificial fruit and Gladys’ artificial leg because she had both legs amputated through diabetes though she rarely wore the very heavy legs and they were positioned around the house. The fruit and the legs are the synthetic, man made reproductions of natural forms to echo the theme that no matter how technologically advanced we are we can’t compete with nature.

I wanted a sense of “Oldness” in the painting, an old house, old people and old objects with the sense that time is running out. When we talk about “Portraiture” we talk about “Immortalising” somebody and I have always thought that there is a very strong link between Portraiture and Mortality and an inevitable demise which is why I have always felt portraiture to be so very significant.

The portrait is composed in two very basic shapes, a rectangle and a triangle. The rectangle travels around the edges of the painting, up and across the visible and covered pipe work and down the door frame and the triangle is hinted at with the perspective lines of the washing tub and the top of the triangle is the coat hanger above Walter’s head. I have tried to create depth by using both perspective and colour. There is a simple , one point perspective which creates visual depth and warmer reds and oranges in the foreground bring that area closer to the viewer and the oranges and blues, the cooler tones, help the portrait recede in the background area.

 

MEMORIAL PAINTING -(diptych) – GLADYS AND WALTER GREAVES

 

In 1995 my grandparents , Gladys and Walter Greaves both died at the age of 90 years old. They were both important to me and I had painted , photographed and drawn them on many occasions.

The first time that I visited their house following their death was quite an emotional experience at the time. It suddenly hit me that they were gone and this momentary core sensation prompted me to make this piece of work which in many ways was a cathartic process.

As I stood in the still and silent living room it brought many memories. It was asif these memories were actually floating around in the room but they were actually floating around in my head . There seemed to be this dual space where the memories simultaneously resonated , in my head and in the room. From this I became interested in seeing the four brick walls as a metaphor for the human skull which contained these memories.

All of their possessions were left untouched in exactly the same place that they had previously been. There was a tremendous sense of absence and emptiness in the house. I began to look around at the objects which provoke these memories and realised how important they had suddenly become as a reference and reflection of their identity. At first glance they are seemingly banal but since their death the personal importance and value of the objects has been elevated and they exist in a new context as an extension and a reminder of them both.

The act of painting these ordinary objects also elevates their importance from the merely banal and I became interested in the relationships between “still life” and “mortality”. Even though there are no figures in this painting I still see it as a portrait

August 1st, 2011

BP Portrait Award 2011

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Anne and me went to the BP Portrait Award dinner and ceremony a few weeks ago which was excellent as ever. When it came to announcing the winner there was a live link to Channel 4 news with Jon Snow but there was a delay witha previous item on the news and everybody was stood around in abject silence staring at eachother with raised eyebrows and  baited breath for the link to happen which kind of killed the moment a little.

 It’s a nice mixed show this year, it’s got more of a feel of the mid 90’s BP Awards about it I think which is much better, I felt it was getting a too photorealist some years. I really liked Al Freney’s painting “At this time of night ” with the Warhol t-shirt on. I really like the idea of a portrait with the figure repeated in two different poses, it’s something I’ve thouht about on a few occasions , especially with very specific sitters  who it would work very well with. I like the economy of the painting and the background resonates extremely well I think. Isobel Peachy’s portrait of RH is lovely too, very traditional, I guess Rembrandt / Sargent esque  but like Mike Gaskell’s portrait of his son it has a real warmth.

Edward Sutcliffe’s portrait of Glenda Jckson is a very striking portrait. Edward comes from my neck of the woods and as an enthusiastic A Level student came to my studio a few times to pick up tips and write an essay for his A level project. That must have been over 10 years ago now, I think I was painting “Harry Coleman” the first World War veteran when he came. I don’t think I’d like to have been at Glenda’s unveiling though, my God, Tony Blair’s tenure has surely taken its toll on her because she looks so old.

I have really admired Alan Coulson’s work over the past few years, infact I met him briefly and was a lovely guy. I like his detatched portrait of the lady in beautifully coloured turbon. I was a little disorientated by the coloured eye lashes initially but I think they add something to the portrait now.

 It’s on until the end of September so if you’re in London and have a free hour drop in , it’s free too.

July 13th, 2011

In Focus Show – London

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Here are a few shots from the recent show in London at Plus One with Philip Harris ahd Simon Hennessey. The guy infront of my painting “The Curious Case of the Levitating, Tattoed Man”  is Ray, the subject of the painting and he is able to levitate approximately 12 cm off the ground for about 30 seconds at a time when he is in his meditative state.

 Phil and Simon made some great work for the show and it was a real buzz showing with them in a figurative basd show.

 

 

May 9th, 2011

Current Exhibitions

invitation-black-and-white-1.pdf  –  (click on link)

 The Frissiras Museum , Athens.    2/3/11 – 31/7/11

 The Frissaris Museum is about to stage an exhibition called “Black and White”. It features work from their collection of drawings, etchings paintings and lithographs. They sent me a catalogue yesterday because they are showing one of my paintings and it looks like a great show. I like the poster with the fantastic Greek typography. Quite a lot of the artists are Greek and I’m not familiar with most so it’s lovely to see what they are up to. There are a few names I recognise, Aurback, Hockney and Rego so we’re all certainly in good company. It’s nice to see galleries doing shows in monochrome, it’s a wonderful area to explore.

Americans Now, The Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.  Continues until 10th July.

http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/americansnow/index.html

This exhibition features to of my portraits, Cormac McCarthy and Prof. Murray Gell-Mann.

In Focus,  Plus One Gallery, London.  16/3/11 – 9/4/11

http://www.plusonegallery.com/Shows-Detail.cfm?ShowsID=215

This show opens in a few weeks and features the figurative work of 3 artists, Philip Harris, Simon Hennessey and myself.

February 27th, 2011

“The Curious Case of the Levitating, Tattooed Man”. – Acrylic on Canvas -“48″ x 33″

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I met Ray a few years ago and admired his full body tattoo from neck to ankle in a japanes style. I invited him over to my studio for the day and took a series of shots. We decided to do the whole shoot with Ray naked , which kind of made sense. Anne had been out for the morning and forgot Ray was coming over and barged into the studio with Max, our dog.  Ray was in a curled up foetus position and Max went straight over to inspect Ray’s bum. Quite an entrance.  It was a great shoot though, we must have done about 18 different compositions and this is the first painting that I have done from the sitting. I liked the idea that he was levitating because it was such a calm, contemplative pose and I just imagined Ray in a Zen like trance, gently rising up just a few inches off the ground.

  This will be in the exhibition in London during March ( together with other new pieces and some previous work) with the excellent artists Philip Harris and Simon Hennessey.

 I’ll be completing my portrait drawing of Andy Hamilton CBE very soon so I’ll post that next week.

(click on the image to enlarge)

February 19th, 2011

Thomas Lawrence

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I went to see the Thomas Lawrence show at the NPG a few weeks ago. Lovely show by an artist that was huge in his day but largely forgotten in art history. Lovely show though , I particularly liked his drawings which reminded me of the wonderful small Ingres drawings   and  I loved his half finished paintings , they seem so fresh left in that state.

December 22nd, 2010

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