Friday, 25 May 2012

Ron Mueck

I am always fascinated by artists who use processes and materials to create work which makes me wonder how on earth they created the pieces that they do, and leave me with a sense of amazement and wonder. One such artist who does this for me is Ron Mueck.

I ventured up to Hauser and Wirth, and I am so glad I managed to catch this show before it closes. His work first caught my attention at the Millenium Dome with the huge crouching boy installation and then again as artist in residence at the National Gallery a few years ago.

He creates a sense of wonder with his hyper realistic figures, but adds a surrealistic twist when he plays with the scale of the figures - either reducing them or enlarging them in scale. 

The attention to detail is amazingly obsessive, down to the individual application of single hairs in eyebrows and eyelashes and on legs.  

The hyper realistic figures are very reminiscent of Duane Hanson's work in the 1970s. There were only four pieces in this exhibition but again the sense of wonder and empathy for the figures made the visit worthwhile for me. Stunning!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Piccasso's Vollard Suite

There is a rather wonderful exhibition currently in the Print room of the British Museum. It shows off the complete set of 100 etchings created by Picasso in his classical period, between 1930 and 1937, and commissioned by the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. This set of etchings is known as the Vollard Suite. 

The prints reflect Picasso's obsession with his young mistress Marie-Therese Walter, his interest in classicism, and brief flirtation with Surrealism. The Suite is divided into themes which include, The Battle of Love, The Sculptors Studio, Rembrandt, The Minotaur and The Blind Minotaur, and the last being three portraits of Ambroise Vollard. The display is complemented by the inclusion of etchings by Rembrandt, (the best ever etcher?), Goya, and also classical busts and ceramics.

Among the prints my favourite image is Blind Minotaur Led through the Night by Girl with a Fluttering Dove 1935. This beautiful, atmospheric image in which a young girl with a dove leads the blinded minotaur through the night, hold its own against many of his actual paintings. It is an image full of tenderness and pathos and I wonder how it would have looked had Picasso developed it into a large painting. There is a beautiful contrast of light which emanates from the bodies of the characters, and the rich black of the night scene.

Whilst some of the plates would have benefited from more work by Picasso, the exhibition displays his inventiveness and mastery of line and composition. It is one I shall definately be returning to again before it closes in September.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Kaleidoscope: a new screenprint

I have been working with the wonderful people at Jealous Gallery and print studio to create a new screen-print - Kaleidoscope (Red). It was nice to visit their new premises in Shoreditch and observe the process, as I haven't done this form of printmaking since teaching, a good few years ago. The project was handled and printed by the fantastic Jess (a star in the making!).

The print makes its debut at the Grand Designs Live show at the Excel Centre, London this weekend on the Jealous Gallery stand. The signed limited edition is 40 and there will be an additional edition of ten prints with diamond dust. The prints are available direct from myself via the website, or the galleries that represent me (see Contact page), or Jealous Gallery.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Dulwich Festival, Artists' Open House 2012

As part of the Dulwich Festival Artists' Open House 2012, I am pleased to have been invited to exhibit at Romeo Jones, in the heart of Dulwich village. Romeo Jones is the wonderful delicatessen which supplies the finest artisanal food produce from both the British Isles and the continent. My work can be found in the beautiful 'salon' style cafe at the rear of the shop. I will be exhibiting for the whole of May and not just the weekends (12/13th May and 19/20th May), of the Open House. I will be showing my latest all white piece - "Periphery".

It was a real pleasure to be selected to exhibit at this particular venue which has a growing reputation for showing artwork, and I would like to thank Festival Art Organisor Rachel Gluyas, and the proprietor Patrick Belton for making this possible.

Romeo Jones, 80 Dulwich Village, SE21. 
Tel. 0208 299 1900
Mon - Fri  8 - 5pm
Sat - Sun  9 - 6pm