This exhibition is a homage to Picasso; to the development of his art, and its influence in shaping art history as we know it today. It reflects the joyful challenge for each individual artist to go ‘beyond’ these established art forms, interpreting the qualities developed by Picasso in their own practice.
Inspired by the RA exhibition ‘Picasso and Paper’ earlier this year, we asked four of our gallery artists to produce a group of paintings or ceramics exploring their individual relationship to Picasso’s work.
Jeremy Annear presents a contemporary take on Cubism through this group of geometric abstract paintings. Collages feature alongside abstracted painterly depictions of land and sea. Both take diverse subjects – beach scenes such as ‘Beach Samba II’ and ‘Sand Drift’, or alternatively respond to music, such as ‘Earth Rhythm’. Subjects are reduced to rhythmic geometric patterns and faceted cubes.
Cubism is further explored in this group of still life paintings by Richard Ballinger. Focusing on dissymmetry and disequilibrium, plants writhe in twisted awkwardness; at times visual planes are reduced and simplified, while at others complicated through 3-dimensional graphic lines, presenting interior and exterior spaces of disquieting wildness.
Many of the influences of art history which Picasso so drew on – Aztec, Egyptian, African, Classical – are reflected Ken Spooner’s group of paintings. Exploring the relationship between painter and model, nudes recline in languorous poses of dislocation, while in other paintings, portraits are refracted into multiple cubic planes of vision. The theme of the sculptor in the studio is explored through a group of ceramic sculptures of both ‘Muses’ and the infamous ‘Owls’, and most notably the self-portrait ‘Head of the Sculptor.’
Henrietta Dubrey presents a group of large-scale figurative paintings which rework themes and ideas from Picasso’s monstrous and colossal women of the 1920s. Some focus on the pleasures of the beach and the open air – most notably ‘La Joie De Vivre’ – while others focus on the artist’s muse (though here notably focalised through the gaze of the female artist). Paintings such as ‘You and Me’ subvert the anatomy of the human form along surrealist principles. Accompanying these are smaller, notably cubism-inspired, portraits, and a set of ten drawings. Finally, a rare male double portrait entitled ‘Scugnizzi’ reworks Picasso’s ‘Pipers of Pan’ as two contemporary young Italians “previously engaged in a spot of tomb-stoning”.
All work is available to purchase through the gallery. Please contact us by via email at [email protected] for more information.