Various Artists – The Lie of the Land

The portrait above suggests how the aristocracy and the English landscape are as harmonious and natural as the sun that shines down on the rolling hills of the estate over which its subject, Mr Plampin, lauds.

It was around the time that Gainsborough painted the picture that landed estates, sculpted by landscape artists such as Capability Brown, were opened up to the public as places of leisure and which came to influence the British obsession with parks and gardens. The first to do so was Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire and part of the theme of Lie of the Land is to trace a line between Stowe and the urban experiment that is Milton Keynes only 15 miles away and which forms the inaugural exhibition in the city’s sparkingly refurbished Milton Keynes Gallery.

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Eileen Cooper – Short Stories

The woman arches her back in a perfectly-balanced athletic pose, her body graceful and lithe. Her hair falls free and touches the ground, rooted to the earth like the tree that brings equilibrium to the picture. There’s another balance too. The flecks on the body, remnants of residue of the lino-block from which the image was taken, gives it a strength echoed by the tree’s trunk. And all within the brightly coloured and collaged setting of a fable where reality and imagination meld together. 

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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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Robert Fraser’s Groovy Arts Club Band

Robert “Groovy Bob” Fraser was a charismatic gallery owner and art dealer who, in many ways, embodied the spirit of the so-called Swinging Sixties. He was the handsome, dedicated follower of fashion in the clothes sense, but a leader of fashion in the artistic sense by embracing the British pop art movement and championing many of its artists. He was the King of Cool, the archetypal party-goer who befriended many of the top musicians of the day including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, members of whom who would mingle together with artists at his Duke Street Gallery or his Mount Street flat. That marriage of pop and pop art seemed one made in heaven, or at least in Mayfair.

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Aziz and Cucher – Tapestries and New Works on Paper

For more than 25 years, the New York-based collaborative duo Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher have addressed current political dilemmas through large format digitally enhanced photographs and video installations. However, a visit to a Renaissance tapestry exhibition at the New York Met a few years ago inspired this latest exhibition at London’s Gazelli Art House of four monumental tapestries as well as a series of accompanying works on paper.  Continue reading “Aziz and Cucher – Tapestries and New Works on Paper”

Matisse Prints- Bernard Jacobson Gallery

There’s an anecdote recounted in this exhibition’s catalogue in which the American artist Walter Pach spends several hours talking about art to Henri Matisse. When Matisse asked the American if he could make an etching of him, Pach replied that he had an appointment and had to leave in five minutes, Matisse put his watch on the table and, within those five minutes, drew Pach’s outline on an etching plate. Continue reading “Matisse Prints- Bernard Jacobson Gallery”

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