Bernard Jacobson – Prints I Published

On your left as you go down the stairs of the Bernard Jacobson Gallery are a series of miniature prints whose makers are a roll-call of some of the greatest talents of the British art scene of the 1960s and beyond – Richard Hamilton, Patrick Caulfield, Ivor Abrahams, William Tillyer, Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi, David Hockney, Robyn Denny, Richard Smith as well as the American Ed Ruscha. And you haven’t yet reached the more than 100 works in the main gallery!

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John Kirby – All Passion Spent

Some years ago, a friend of John Kirby developed a brain tumour which made him both depressed for his friend and depressed for himself. It was around Christmas time and the pair pulled a cracker which contained the regulation paper hat. “I looked totally miserable wearing this pink or yellow hat. It’s a kind of move towards enjoyment without getting anywhere near it,” he tells me.

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James Mortimer – Land of Mortimer

At first glance, the world depicted in Land of Mortimer is a peaceful mythological idyll in which naked or semi-clad figures, in seemingly perpetual recreation, share their surroundings in harmony with animals and nature. They appear to be in what Jean-Jacques Rousseau described as “the indolence of our primitive state”. Furthermore, the skies are all blue, the trees are in leaf, ducks swim, deers frolic and sheep graze.

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Alice Browne – Found

Alice Browne is a young artist who recently graduated with an MA in Fine Art from London’s Royal College of Art after which she has featured in group and solo shows in the UK and as far afield as Norway and the US.  Primarily an abstract painter, she creates in her works obscure, imaginative spaces that she dots with floating objects that play with perspective and often intrigue with potent symbolism.

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Mark Thompson – The World Distilled

British artist Mark Thompson has acquired international acclaim for his bleak, barren landscapes, with their empty buildings, cavernous hallways and panoramic snowscapes. Created painstakingly with layer upon layer of oil paint and glaze on wood, they create a hint of a scene or place, charged with memory that is hazy and imprecise. Based in Sweden, Thompson brings to fine art that Nordic-noir aesthetic that we see so often these days on our TVs. His new solo exhibition at Proud Central in London comes 20 years after he first showed there. I spoke to him at the gallery and asked him first to explain the exhibition’s title, The World Distilled.

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Peter Gronquist – Shape Shifter

American artist Peter Gronquist draws on a wide range of media for his works – fabric, metal, ceramics, frosted glass, mirrors, even taxidermy. Working from his barn by a lake near Portland, Oregon, his oeuvre is multi-disciplinary – sculpture, painting and installation.

In whatever medium, his themes have revolved chiefly around American obsessions with material wealth, consumerism, guns, and religion. He once said, “Our culture puts money and violence on way too high a pedestal. I think these days people no longer see the line between entertainment and reality.” 

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