Catalogue size is 285 x 240 mm (portrait); 64 pages plus cover 130 works illustrated Foreword by DM
All figurative artists try to translate the visual world into something beyond the simple material fact of what anyone with eyes can see. The best of them capture something new about what we only thought we knew...
All figurative artists try to translate the visual world into something beyond the simple material fact of what anyone with eyes can see. The best of them capture something new about what we only thought we knew. And it is their drawings or sketches that can often manifest a sense of 'eureka!' in a way their socalled finished works cannot.
The works on paper in this exhibition were made in a variety of media - ink, crayon, watercolour, oils, etc. - but all of the artists behind them took at least part of their inspiration from a sense of freedom, expression, or spontaneity. Forster's starry skies and floral kaleidoscopes were informed by his interest in Surrealism and the subconscious, while a sense of the metaphysical suffuses Brian Horton's ethereal landscapes. Rose Hilton's delight in colour and exuberant line make her nudes appear to almost spring off the paper, just as colour and line beat like a jazz combo in both the works of Eardley Knollys and Edward Piper. Similarly, Nancy Haig transformed often forbiddingly rugged landscapes though her use of fluid washes and squiggly lines of India ink. By focusing on a bird's inherent movement, rather than its physical details, Bridget McCrum turns her subject matter into a veritable metaphor for freedom. Likewise, when Luke Piper choses a vista for one of his multi-layered landscapes, he is drawn less by the actual view than by whatever literally illuminates it, if only fleetingly. Michael Upton's meticulously toned views illustrate a fascination with change he explored in his more extemporaneous conceptual work, just as Peter Prendergast's primeval Welsh landscapes were influenced by his earlier interest in Abstract Expressionism.
These artists' works on paper may be more affordable than their paintings or sculptures, but they are in no way secondary to them; in fact, on the contrary, they're primary. They are often the more immediate expression of their creativity and in many ways, can appear to be a personal communication between the artist and the viewer. I think with a canvas or sculpture we are often obliged to share the audience, but if we are lucky, a work on paper can appear to speak to us alone.