Friday, 11 March 2016

Generation Painting 1955-65

I recently visited the new Heong Gallery at Downing College in Cambridge. It is a small but beautifully designed space (which was at one time a stables), by the architects Caruso St John, who also designed Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery. The inaugural show is a series of paintings from the collection of former Director of the Tate Gallery - Sir Alan Bowness who studied at Downing College.

Peter Lanyon - Loe Bar, 1962

I am increasingly being drawn to abstract pieces and liked this piece by Lanyon.

 William Scott - Ocean, 1960

The colours in this piece, and the layering of those blues is lovely. I am curious about Scott's use of the square shapes as they contradict the fluidity and flow of the body of water that he is attempting to depict.

Patrick Heron - Soft Vermillion with Orange and Red: April 1965

The warm tones of this painting were really soothing and relaxing and seemed to soften the shapes which were really bold.

Allen Jones - Parachutist, 1963

I love Allen Jones' work from the 1960s, the bus series in particular, and the series where he fuses males and female forms in paintings such as Man Woman, and Hermaphrodite, so it was a pleasure to see this small painting in the collection. 

William Scott - Blue Still Life, 1957

Another favourite from the collection was this William Scott still life. I liked the drawing style of the simple forms, and the fact that you could still see traces of the under drawing peeping through. I also liked the minimal, bleak colouring and the heavily textured surface. 

 Peter Lanyon - Drift, 1961

This piece by Peter Lanyon was probably my favourite in this small show. The sense of movement in the strong brushstrokes, the sparse colouring and overall mood of the piece really spoke to me. I was reminded of the piece I created with the same title that sold at Christmas in Cambridge. The Heong Gallery is a beautiful space and welcome addition to the Cambridge art scene.

(Also worth a visit if you are in the area is - Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient Egypt, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, part of this institutions' bicentenary celebrations. It contains some beautifully decorated mummies and other Egyptian funerary objects, and is on until 22 May).

Generation Painting 1955-65
British Art from the Collection of Sir Alan Bowness 
until 22nd May 2016
Heong Gallery
Downing College
Regent Street