Peter Howson – Acta Est Fabula

As in the top picture, Pergamum, Peter Howson’s world is a dark, apocalyptic one populated with grotesque low-lifes, disfigured and violent, decadent and despairing. Dominating are colossus-like males, with over-sized muscles and bulging eyes, machismo in the extreme. They exist beneath crumbling buildings in a nightmare vision recalling the works of Hogarth, Bosch, Dürer, Breughel the Elder, Dix, Beckmann and Goya.  Continue reading “Peter Howson – Acta Est Fabula”

Sean Scully – Uninsideout

At the age of 73, with a career spanning six decades, Sean Scully shows no sign of slowing down. He has no fewer than 18 solo exhibitions currently at museums and institutions around the world, most notably at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, the Walker Gallery in Liverpool and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Now comes his first solo show, Uninsideout, at London’s BlainSouthern gallery in which he’s exhibiting 18 new or nearly new works including a group of his well-known Landline series.  Continue reading “Sean Scully – Uninsideout”

William Tillyer – Golden Striker and Esk Paintings

As the climax to a season-long exhibition of British artist William Tillyer’s works at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery and to celebrate the 80th birthday of the artist, the exhibition Golden Striker – Esk Paintings introduces the new nine-metre long and nearly three metres high painting, The Golden Striker, above, stretching across the back wall of the gallery.  Continue reading “William Tillyer – Golden Striker and Esk Paintings”

John Loker – Six Decades

Over six decades John Loker has sealed a reputation for being one of Britain’s most accomplished yet category-defying artists. His work can be found in prestigious galleries and collections worldwide including, at home, the Arts Council, the Tate, the Royal College of Art and the V & A. 

Yorkshire-born, he studied at Bradford School of Art and Design in the 1950s along with the likes of David Hockney, Norman Stevens and David Oxtoby. He moved to London to study painting at the Royal College of Art in 1960 and remained in the capital more or less continually until a recent move to Norfolk. I had the great pleasure of accompanying John as we toured this retrospective exhibition of his work over 60 years, at the Flowers Gallery which has represented him for nearly all of that time. Continue reading “John Loker – Six Decades”

Judy Millar interview – The View from Nowhere

Born in 1957, Judy Millar has become one of New Zealand’s best known painters, representing her country at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Her work has been exhibited not only throughout her own country but also in Europe and the United States to much critical acclaim. Her gestural work has seen many forms including large paintings that tumble from the gallery ceilings in large coils. For her first solo show in London, The View from Nowhere, she presents six paintings full of energetic and colourful works that include a signature process in which she removes layers of paint from the surface after applying it. I talked to Judy Millar on the first evening of her show.    Continue reading “Judy Millar interview – The View from Nowhere”

Muse – Gill Button and Sikelela Owen

It could be the face, perhaps just a look, or maybe a certain personality trait. The attraction of the muse has been an ever-present phenomenon in art history, someone who can inspire creativity in an artist, someone they might return to time and again.  

When you talk about the muse, historically it’s normally associated with the male gaze, but in a new joint exhibition at London’s James Freeman Gallery, entitled Muse, two contemporary artists, Gill Button and Sikelela Owen, offer us a female perspective on what a modern muse might be. Continue reading “Muse – Gill Button and Sikelela Owen”

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