We are trying to get topical reviews of some of the latest offerings in the visual arts in the Norfolk region including shows, pop-ups, installations, events and talks. If you are interested in contributing to this page, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Four Makers at the Crypt Gallery, Norwich School 28 Jan to 17 Feb, 2017
The wonderful exhibition, Four Makers, marks a coming of age for this welcome new gallery space in Norwich. It is a collegiate and inspired re-purposing of the 14th Century ossuary, or charnel house, beneath the chapel of Norwich School, once used to house the dry bones of Norwich citizens while they futilely awaited resurrection. It is now transformed into a bright and cleverly-lit gallery space, and considerable credit must go to both Norwich School and to Andy Campbell, artist, teacher and the creative projects coordinator in charge of it, for imaginatively bringing this win-win venture to fruition.
The current exhibition is curated by local sculptor, Bob Catchpole, whose own work figures alongside that of three other sculptors, Derek Morris, Ainslie Yule and Bruce Gernand. All have a long history of ‘making’ in every sense, and, appropriately in this venue, three of them also have a long record of teaching, both in schools and in art schools. Gernand, who has lectured in the past to the society on his work, produces objects that have been created in silico and then, via a rapid prototyping step, have been moulded or cast, for example Dune, cast in aluminium. Although essentially abstract, his forms are all derived from and reflect the real or natural world. Morris’s work is also firmly abstract but again is firmly rooted in the real world, in this case our experience of how we interact with the walls that always surround us, and the windows and openings that penetrate them. His Blue and Silver Relief is a winning example here.
Bruce Gernand Dune Cast aluminium 2004
Catchpole continues with his long-term project to link local making, particularly of tools, with the land, buildings and churches of Norfolk. His chimeric works, with blades, and their handles that spring, hydra-like, from them, offer a powerful reflection on what ‘hand-made’ means in our modern world. Yule’s playful, compact, mixed-media creations riff on the idea and associations of ‘goblets’ to explore community, celebration, trophies, and from there they spin off into more baroque and surreal directions. My favourite is Architectural Structure on Goblet.
Ainsley Yule Architectural Structure on Goblet Mixed media
Together, these four sculptors have more in common than first impressions might suggest. All of a certain age, and already with long professional careers, all now embrace a mature and sophisticated approach to sculpture that still manages to be both serious and light-hearted at the same time, reflecting their fun and joy in the process of making. A seriously good show in a seriously good new gallery.
28 Jan to 17 Feb, 2017
Mon-Fri 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Sat 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
Brüer Tidman and Charlotte Wych: The kitchen table, tea and old sugar
Great Yarmouth Library Gallery, Tolhouse St NR30 2SH
29 November to 10 December
Brüer Tidman (above) watches friend Colin Self (right) open the Private View
We are blessed in Norfolk with an ever-increasing inventory of spaces in which to encounter artwork. Unlike large museums, however, many of these other smaller galleries and related spaces have such a rapid turn-around of exhibitions, with ever more artists clamoring for wall space and attention, that they are only around for a couple of weeks or so. A consequence is that there are some exhibitions that have sadly come and gone almost before they can be registered, visited, reflected on and absorbed, but this spectacular exhibition is still on until 10th December, so please do try and catch it before it vanishes for ever!
The painter Brüer Tidman had an unusually close and loving relationship with his mother, Charlotte, constructed around a bond of complicity forged when they fled together, and forever, when he was about nine or ten, from his father. This bond continued to tighten throughout their subsequent lives, ending finally with her death two years ago at the age of 98 (on the same day as the show ends), a death the exact moment of which Brüer inadvertently missed, to his frustration and sorrow. The mother as artist’s muse is not a common one in Western art, which makes this emotional, loving and cathartic exhibition all the more important. From his early exquisite pencil drawings of her, usually around the kitchen table, the artist has documented and explored their relationship in a way that has few precedents.
After her death, working out aspects of his emotional and loving attachment and loss has produced a completely different set of large-scale images that together form a powerful and resonant circle around the enclosed room in the Library where they have been beautifully hung. These are no longer direct, observational and figurative works, but heart-wrenching screams of paint that at the same time have a calm and reflective beauty that begins to make some sense of an order after death, a resolution of pain and loss, with their warm tones and repeated abstracted shapes, of open mouths, cold white feet, clasped hands, attendants and the shadow of the artist. This room gave me the same sense of seriousness and depth as the hang of Poussin’s Seven Sacraments in their special room in the Scottish National Gallery. One is appropriately of Extreme Unction.
When she was already in her 80s, Brüer gave his mother the materials to try her hand at painting (do we believe in a genetic component of artistic talent?) and some of the resultant dazzling flower paintings, on their matt-black ground, and all done at the same old kitchen table, are also on show in a long, glittering line. The two of them exhibited together once before, four years before Charlotte died, but this is a very different show. This deftly-hung show is really Brüer’s and there will not be many exhibitions you will ever go to that will move you in such a powerful way, or allow you to ponder, witness and engage with so closely such an unusual and powerful bond between a mother and her son.
My only sadness was that the catalogue is rather woeful, with image scale and placement issues, eccentric typography and, most irritatingly of all, no titles, sizes or artist credits for any of the images reproduced. This outstanding show deserved a real document of record.
Brüer beside his painting, Mother and Son Debating Religion and Art, Just as the Carer Arrives with the Answers: Tea and Biscuits.
Rare chance to view private Norwich School Paintings as Mandell’s marks 50 years
An important collection of Norwich School of Painters is going on public display for the first time ever in November, as Mandell’s Gallery celebrates its Golden anniversary. The paintings, more than 50, are from the private collection of Norwich Art devotee Geoffrey Allen, founder of the Elm Hill, Norwich, gallery. It’s been run by his son John and now grand-daughter Rachel (28) is taking over.
“Father had a fascination for Norwich School landscapes that just ran away with him. He was such an avid collector it became a passion,” recalled John. “He probably had 200 paintings hung in the family home, three deep with frames touching each other. There were still more stored in the loft.”
Today, Mandell’s is known for being much more eclectic, reflecting the taste and style of the following generations of art enthusiasts – John with his preference for contemporary art and Rachel whose eye is drawn to shapes and colours and abstract works.
“My grandfather very much admired traditional art though he would have been very pleased to see the gallery grow and develop,” added Rachel.
John commented: “Yes, he would be pleased if somewhat puzzled – and, at the same time, I suspect, quietly humbled. The range of artists and styles of work at Mandell’s has broadened and is more diverse.”
Now John and Rachel are delighted to have the opportunity to pay tribute to Geoffrey’s pursuit of the Norwich School. Geoffrey died in 2005.
“From November 5 to 26 we are devoting our Contemporary Gallery at Mandell’s to the Geoffrey Allen Collection. These are the family’s personal Norwich School paintings so they aren’t for sale,” said Rachel. “Though for enthusiasts, our Window Gallery will have some Norwich School work for sale.”
The Norwich School Paintings on display include works by such artists as Thomas Lound, Henry Bright, Miles Edmund Cotman, John Joseph Cotman, John Thirtle, Eloise Harriet Stannard, Alfred Stannard and James Stark.
Mandell’s 50 Anniversary Celebration: The Geoffrey Allen Collection
Norwich School of Painters
Private View Saturday 05 November 2016 12 noon-4 pm
Exhibition Monday 7 November to Saturday 26 November Mon-Sat 10 am-4 pm
Trophies: James Webster at Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich
24th June – 3rd September 2016
This review is really about Trophies, a stunning new exhibition in the city, but it is also partly about the gallery that hosts it, so let me start there first. Tucked down a tiny passage off Bedford Street, called Websdales Court, the gallery has in fact been there for many years, when it was run, as many will remember, by the legendary Timothy ‘Tizzie’ Fairhurst. The gallery was started in 1949 by his father, Joseph Fairhurst, a painter and member of the Norwich Twenty Group. It was his Flint House Gallery, back then in Elm Hill, that hosted the very first meeting of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society just over 60 years ago. More recently, in Bedford Street, the Fiarhurst Gallery has passed to a wonderful and dynamic young couple Dulcie and Tom Humphrey, who together with their outstandingly capable framer, Sophie Barrett, now run a specialist framing and restoration service upstairs, in a vast heaven of glorious and seductive ‘stuff’ that one would yearn to work in, as well as a dynamic and adventurous contemporary gallery downstairs, overseen by Dulcie. This is just the sort of initiative that Norwich, already edging towards city of art status, deserves. Recent exhibitions have been intelligently curated and brilliantly hung and promoted, and have included a sensible blend of local artists (Brüer Tidman, Joceline Wickham and Polly Cruse, Malca Schotten, Greg Barnes) as well as some from outside the County, a very healthy sign.
Upstairs at Fairhurst
Which brings me to James Webster. I may be getting long in the tooth, but I have just looked carefully at all the work in the British Art Show 8 that is all over Norwich at the moment, and I have to say that I find Webster’s work more interesting and more engaging than that of any of the 40+ young artists chosen to represent the best in Britain. How odd is that? Well, not very, actually, as even a brief visit to this current exhibition will confirm. Webster grew up in Norfolk, went to school in Norwich, and now works in Suffolk. But he trained in Florence and this has given him a breadth of experience in history, ceramics and anatomy that permeates his work here. Trophies has deep roots in childhood obsessions with bones and slaughter houses. Working from real skulls, this has emerged as a series of eight animal skulls and their vertebrae first made in terracotta 20% larger than life-size. Horse, tiger, stork and rhino. Dissected into parts, moulds are made and then casts produced in porcelain, which are assembled and fired. Now back to life-size, parts like teeth are glazed and colour is supplied with iron oxides before the final firing. Gold leaf is then applied to the areas that would be lit by a strong overhead light. Finally these remarkable structures are intuitively balanced or mounted just so on their gorgeously-patinated, custom-made concrete plinths, each in turn standing on a perfectly-proportioned, dark mild-steel base. The skull ensemble is arranged dramatically spotlit as an avenue, four on each side, in the black curtained gallery, now entered by a black arch.
This powerful juxtaposition of what look like at first like real bones, or indeed ancient fossils, with gold leaf, and their formal presentation in a dark chapel or tomb-like setting, conjure up many thoughts and resonances. Guardians or Icons or Memorials? The sun-like gold on ancient Egyptian tomb figures, hints at rituals of the dead, funerary rites and our veneration for lost beings. So are these skulls of animals or of gods, clearly revered here on their spotlit plinths? The delicate bone-like porcelain, that is also so strong as a material, hints at the strength of our commonality with the animal kingdom, from which we evolved so relatively recently. This complex, unified display of work gives us pause for thought; about who we are, how we came to be, what we value in life and in death, and that is what art should do. So, congratulations to James Webster, his agent Jonathan Kugel and to Fairhurst for so brilliantly housing it all!
Audrey Pilkington exhibition at Skippings Gallery in Great Yarmouth
Skippings Gallery has been enjoying immense success with two highly-attended exhibitions since its re-launch in January 2016. The third exhibition of the year, running from Saturday April 9th to Saturday May 7th, will showcase the joyful, imaginative art of Audrey Pilkington who passed away in 2015.
Audrey was born in 1922 and attended the Lancaster School of Art, Storey Institute, aged 17 years old, where she was strongly influenced by the teacher, artist and poet, Ronald Grimshaw. She continued her studies at the Slade during the War years, meeting an interesting range of artists including the Vorticist, William Roberts.
Audrey’s early career evolved to include teaching, drawing for Vogue as well as illustration. It was later, whilst working at the King Alfred School in Germany that her painting career flourished with lively paintings in gouache and oils inspired by the enchanting Schleswig-Holstein lake country. She also began experimenting with collage, a technique she continued to explore throughout her career and which can be discerned in many aspects of her painting method. During this period, her work was exhibited in Hamburg to critical acclaim.
Audrey later exhibited widely in East Anglia, with solo shows in London, Italy and Switzerland, and most recently at the Cut in Halesworth in 2007.
The exhibition at Skippings Gallery will offer visitors an insight into the multifaceted nature of Audrey’s highly original and expressive work.
John Kiki: Recent Paintings at the Merchant House Gallery, Lowestoft
John Kiki at his exhibition
In the intervening three years since I first wrote about it in 2013, the ambitious white walls of The Merchant House Gallery, in Lowestoft, have supported a host of local talent. So far, the gallery’s interest has been focused on the Yarmouth Five, whose real talent in depth is hauling the art scene on the East Anglian Coast firmly into the limelight. The current show of John Kiki’s recent paintings is no exception. Kiki, I am told, is perhaps more of an acquired taste than his other Yarmouth colleagues, but I for one have the flavour inextricably now on the end of my tongue.
Kiki has patiently described several times in the past his antipathy to the significance of ‘subject matter’ in his work, saying it is not of ‘primary concern for me’. Instead he places his own emphasis on experimentation, process and freshness in the creation of his work, all of which is both apparent and true. But most artists are unreliable narrators, and I want to describe what I see in his recent work in addition to all this activity. Kiki comes from a large Mediterranean family, but for a long time now has been embedded, along with his studio, in the seedy, energetic and glittery cradle of Great Yarmouth. It seems clear to me that these two visual and mythic places account, at least in part, for much of the imagery that emerges through his spontaneous working methods. The twin poles of Greek Mythology and Seaside Mythology infect and inflect his imagination in a way that cannot be erased. Repeating motifs of horses, riders, centaurs, goddesses, dances, graces, performers and dance macabre all belong just as much in the bustle of the fairground and the seafront as in the ancient myths. And added to this rich source material in his subconscious are the core figurative concerns of western art, the nude, the artist and model and the portrait. His are contemporary interpretations, yes, but they also plunder work from the giants of the past, from Picasso, with his lovers, dancers and guitarists, and particualrly Velasquez, whose infantas, the children of Iberian monarchs, occur repeatedly as motifs.
How do these varied references appear on his canvases? Very rapidly is the first thing to say, and he is indeed a remarkably prolific artist. Acrylic, squeezed directly from a bottle, is used to draw freely and fast, directly onto the surface, creating a determinedly two-dimensional image that then mysteriously morphs over time, losing bits there, acquiring bits here, often physically cut and pasted from one image to another. Streaks, splashes, areas and edges of colour are included and layers and texture emerge from the process, as pattern, balance, composition and look are reworked towards a satisfactory synthesis. It then receives a title! The final work, despite its figurative basis, has a flat abstract quality and a colour balance that powerfully underpin the joyous and fun figures cavorting on top. ‘Painter’s paintings’ they certainly are, but they are also accessible and gorgeous for the rest of us too.
John Kiki trained at Camberwell in the early 60s, under Auerbach and other well-known colleagues, before moving to the Royal Academy School, where he began to develop the distinctive style that is still evolving. He has exhibited widely, including in New York, Barbican, Haywood Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Germany, Zagreb and Zurich, but has exhibited locally too at many venues. One of his best works, the large Nessus and the Ladies, riffing on the myth of the Centaur, Heracles and his wife Deianeira, was purchased in 2007 for the Castle Museum Collection from the major show he had there that year. Now is a good time to catch up with what he is up to now; make a trip to Lowestoft this week!
At the Merchant House Gallery, 102 High Street, Lowestoft, NR32 1XW
12 March - 2 April and from 9 - 30 April 2016. Open: Tue and Thur-Sat 11am - 4pm.
Derek Morris: Drawing, Light and Colour: A Miscellany
Exhibition at The Cut, Halesworth
Tuesday 16 February – Saturday 19 March
Selwyn Taylor reports:
As you ascend the stairs and enter the upper gallery of The Cut in Halesworth, you are immediately confronted by the massive Victorian wrought-iron roof-trusses. Being in such close proximity to the architectural fabric of the building, it takes a few seconds to refocus your view through the large geometric shapes towards the equally, but smaller scale, geometric wall sculptures of Derek Morris.
As you walk down the long gallery you could, if you’re lucky as I was, be greeted by wonderful low, winter sunshine flooding through the tiny grain store window; echoes of the building's past, and grain being left to dry naturally.
The structure of the 19th-century maltings requires the visitor to peer through one space to view another. This process has a natural empathy with the viewing of Derek’s work; both require the viewer to focus on a more distant point. The negative spaces created by the strongly drawn forms rely on light and reflection and are often influenced by the simplicity of Romanesque and Modernist architecture.
The whole back wall of the gallery is dedicated to the intricate 3-D abstract constructions, some containing vibrant colours, others using sheets of light to render the different surfaces. Derek’s consummate craftmanship is very evident, whether he is using metal, wood, plastic, ceramic or handmade paper and board. Industrial laser cutting is often used to provide the precision demanded within his work.
Once the immediate impact of each work has had time to be absorbed, these beautifully crafted pieces deserve closer examination. Take time to observe the subtlety of one plane being rotated against another by just a few degrees, the nuanced shifts in perspective, the tensions created between the different materials, colours and layering of his work.
There is a wonderful diverse range of work on show, both 2-D and 3-D, all representative of the European Modernist tradition of Constructed Art.
There is a noticeable and very beautiful synergy between the gallery space and Derek’s work. I felt energised after seeing this show, and I urge you to pay The New Cut a visit to see for yourselves.
Contemporary Painters East: show at Freight Gallery, Magdalen Street, Norwich
Joseph Wang reports:
Freight is the third gallery in the growing portfolio of Anthony George, Norwich’s newest gallery impresario and a former NCAS NUA prize winner. A cavernous rectangular room with double-height, concrete and steel beamed ceiling, makes it feel like the cargo-hold of a large freightliner. Naturally, this also means very large white walls!
Ironically, many of the artworks here are deliberately small, almost cameo like, but with no loss of impact. This is a mixed show of diverse artists, with many paintings relating to the environment, social commentary, a sense of space and peoples. Stretching from portraiture to abstract, and from the familiar to fantasy, many of the works use photographic and digital images to compose the work or be part of it, embracing the eclectic and pluralistic style we see in many mixed shows nowadays. But this does not always detract – the imagery is used with intelligence and empathy. For example, Nick Powell’s paperback sized paintings of Dixons Chimney in Carlisle, built in 1836 and the tallest structure still standing shows defiance, whilst in his painting of Peenemunde time is frozen in a melancholic past. His other works likewise have a sense of stillness relating to the incongruity of the past against the dynamics of change today. I liked them!
Rosie Greenhalgh always surprises – her latest work show very small portraits of Native American Indians. Beautifully captured with brave use of lime greens and shocking pinks for detailed highlights they have a strong poignancy and nobility, as shown in the painting “From his eyes the tears were flowing”
David Sullivan is an accomplished artist whose work always makes a political statement and his painting of a well-heeled and fed George Osborne-like figure called “The Social Mobility” continues this.
Emily Cole shows her atmospheric landscapes using Fauvist like luminous colours in paintings of canalside walks and tidal marshes. Using both oils and acrylics together the paint has a loose fluidity and sketch-like immediacy.
Anna-Lise Horsley continues her abstract themes as shown in her “Pandemonium 7” – a riot of colours, shapes and noise!
Aaron Fickling’s paintings project in 3-D from the wall. Using mixed media he places diverse imagery within strong geometric shapes merging collage, logos and design, whilst Russell Eade’s paintings of polished metal sheets capture pools of reflected light and distorted images in a very realistic yet painterly manner – he wants you to experience reflected and distorted light.
Finally, recent NUA graduate Andy Rhodes continues with his theme from the Bishop’s Prize, showing paintings within which Norfolk Landscapes meet modern architecture, surrealism and fantasy as well as images from Gattaca! He’s influenced by Jacque Lacan’s theory of illusion, skilfully using traditional oil painting to manipulate and create his version of Futurism.
A very mixed and interesting show in our newest gallery!
12 - 14 Magdalen Street
Norwich NR3 1HU
NB Sadly the exhibition is only open from 22 to 24th Jan
New Gallery Opens in Gt. Yarmouth
Skippings Gallery, a great new art gallery and studio, housed in a converted 18th century merchant's house in Great Yarmouth, is all set to showcase contemporary art and boost the already blooming local cultural scene.
In 2014, Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, a registered charity, completed the sympathetic conversion of 133 King Street, a once at-risk grade II-listed Georgian building, to create a new art gallery, a flat, and four on-site artists' studios. Now a group of local artists, with the support of the preservation trust, has formed a panel of volunteers to help re-launch the gallery, re-named 'Skippings Gallery', referencing the building's previous incarnation as Skippings Store.
The opening exhibition, running from Saturday, January 16 to Saturday, February 13, will feature paintings, sculpture and collage work by David Chedgey, who has strong links to Norfolk.
Cllr Bernard Williamson, the chairman of the preservation trust, said: "Having saved an historic building at risk, the trust's ongoing ambition for the gallery is to develop it to further the regeneration of the King Street area, the town's emerging cultural quarter, and to boost Great Yarmouth's growing reputation as a cultural heritage centre. Great Yarmouth, already known for its popular annual arts festival, has a very rich, vibrant community of artists, and I am grateful to that group of artists and other volunteers who are giving their expertise and time to help re-launch the gallery as Skippings Gallery. The artists and the trust are already working up a full programme of exhibitions for the coming year. David Chedgey represents a great opening exhibition, which I very much look forward to.”
During exhibitions, the gallery will be open from Wednesday to Saturday, between 11 am and 4 pm.
133 King Street,
David Chedgey opens in style at Skippings Gallery, Gt. Yarmouth
Diana Heuvel reports:
SKIPPINGS Gallery, the newly refurbished exhibition space at 133 King Street, Gt. Yarmouth, has now opened with an exhibition of work by CHEDGEY. His witty interactive sculptures, prints and paintings selected from the past 50 years, are delightfully entertaining and cover a wide spectrum of work.
Chedgey, under the tutelage of Frank Auerbach remembers being told that "red advances, blue recedes" - true to this creed the vibrant paintings of Cuban back streets and rockabilly automobiles of the 1950's have the smoky flavour of irresistible invitation while, very differently, Honore Buonaparte, Chedgey's alto ego, gambols on the beach, scantily clad, with the Mitford sisters.
Chedgey's essential tremor is making delicate brush strokes difficult for him, but a charming recent painting of apple blossom outside his window (with a nod to Van Gogh) has a soft freshness.
Visitors are encouraged to 'wind it up and see what happens' or ' open the door' to the surprises of the interactive sculptural pieces, where you will meet fig leaves or tongues, popping or dropping.
His painting above, Me, The Manics and the Man, shows Chedgey (blue jacket), the Manic Street Preachers and Fidel Castro!
The exhibition is open Wed to Saturday until 13 February, from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm each day.
See here for more information about David Chedgey.
Claude Cahun: Beneath This Mask
Caroline Fisher reports:
The exhibition, Claude Cahun: Beneath This Mask might not be an obvious choice for the first presentation in a new space – NUA’s East Gallery has moved in good time for its involvement in the British Art Show 8 in summer 2016 – but it is a thoughtful show and worth a visit. It is an understated and simple presentation of a series of small black and white photographs where the initial impression belies the complexity of the images. Indeed, these are surely some of the most influential photographs of the 20th century.
Claude Cahun was born in France in 1894 and early in her career was allied to the Surrealist movement via André Breton. However during the 1920s she came to live in Jersey where most of these photographs were taken. The prints shown here were reproduced from the original prints, the negatives having been lost.
The images themselves had a huge influence on much of the art made about personal identity during the later 20th and early 21st centuries. Cahun was ahead of her time and blazed a trail that is both familiar and startlingly fresh.
The accompanying leaflet suggests links to artists such as Cindy Sherman, but her work also relates to contemporary artists Lucy Gunning (whose 1993 film, Climbing around my room, was seen at the Sainsbury Centre a couple of years ago) and Francesca Woodman, the American photographer who took her own life at the age of 22.
All of Cahun’s images in the exhibition are self-portraits and many show the artist playing with ideas of gender. She dresses androgynously, her hair is cropped and her body is boyish. There is a sense that she is pushing the boundaries of who and what she is, in terms of costume, body image and setting.
Many of the images are titled simply Self Portrait, in some Cahun is masked or adorned in theatrical costumes or make-up. In some of the photographs Cahun comes across as a theatrical, performative artist who is playing with her own identity and manipulating the viewer. She looks straight at the camera or sometimes looks out at the viewer, knowingly, at an angle.
Je Tends Les Bas, 1931. Courtesy and copyright Jersey Heritage
In other images there is a sense of her vulnerability- in one she is seen reclining, perhaps asleep on the shelf of an armoire. In this, as with several other images, there is a sense of claustrophobia and discomfort, she is like a child hiding from her parents. But the way Cahun positions herself in relation to the viewer is always calculated so that you feel distanced as well as drawn in- a very contemporary way of working. What is more, the power of these images is concentrated by their small size, an effective contrast with the clean white space in which they are hung.
The exhibition runs until Saturday 9 January, so catch it while you can and look out for future shows in this new space- the programme of upcoming exhibitions promises to be an exciting one.
East Gallery, Norwich University of the Arts, St Andrew’s Hill
Tuesday 10 November 2015 – Saturday 9 January 2016
Katarzyna Coleman at Mandell's Gallery
The unusual industrial landscape of South Denes in Great Yarmouth has been the visual obsession of Katarzyna Coleman for the last fifteen years. Her studio, in an industrial building that she shares with fellow artist, John Kiki, lies just South of where the dwellings behind South Beach Parade dissolve into the strange and desolate peninsula that hangs between the Yare and the sea, docks still on its inner side and the new outer harbour, pretty inaccessible, on its outer side. This bleak landscape has gradually developed over time as the fortunes of Yarmouth have oscillated between stagnant downturns and the optimistic upturns of the fishing boom, followed by North Sea oil and, more lately, renewable energy infrastructure. The insistent, stark, totemic verticals of the power station near the tip of the peninsula, the Britannia Monument off Fenner Road, the derelict gasometer and the ubiquitous modern lamp-posts fracture the horizontal arrays of scattered, geometric sheds, to create that stark geometric tapestry that forms her subject matter.
South Beach Acrylic and Charcoal on Paper 100x70cm
Coleman’s response to this geometry is intense, meditative and compelling. She works on a large scale, and usually on more than one work at a time. Some of these recent works form natural series, held together by a common theme such as the prominent power station marking the end of Admiralty Road or the sets of barriers, fences, gates and railings that define seemingly random no-go areas within the landscape. Some of her most compelling recent works have become triptychs. These works are built up, over time, from her carefully calibrated sketches drawn on the spot, often just round the corner from her studio, but sometimes from high-up window, cadged from friendly souls in nearby industrial buildings. The overall impression may initially seem monochrome, and in the past this was more strictly true. But the recent work uses carefully adjusted mixtures of acrylics, just Prussian Blue, Burnt Umber, and Titanium or Zinc White, to create a warm set of ‘grey’ planes that are then transected by verticals of charcoal or graphite. The complex texture of her reworked paint and the confident quickness of her charcoal are arresting components of these larger works.
Coleman also works on a smaller scale, experimenting with etching, engraving and monoprint methods. None of these industrial landscapes, large or small, contains a single figure, car or boat. She is not unaware of their usual presence, but the formal geometries of the compositions seem to demand their absence. Her work, though, could never be described as merely abstract, a formal exercise in tone and pattern: far from it. These are hauntingly real places, with real names, meditations on a changing and unique cityscape, of workplace and dereliction, of enclosure and containment, of a complex and real three-dimensional landscape. These cocentrated and harshly-lit, neo-classical canvases and prints have a real and disturbing sense of place. Coleman cites artists like Käthe Kollwitz and the American Richard Diebenkorn as influences, but frankly she works her own very distinctive furrow. The strongest resonance for me is with Giorgio Morandi, who had his own familiars, his endless combinations of favourite pots and bottles that created the geometry he obsessively revisited in both paintings and prints. And I note a Morandi postcard on her wall. Formal composition for Coleman too is paramount, discovering just the right juxtapositions of shape, position and tone to complete the work. The sheds and chimneys, roads, streetlights and shadows of Coleman’s universe are equally totemic, and like Morandi’s bottles they somehow seem to lose their sense of scale, becoming at one moment vast and at another almost domestic.
Katarzyna Coleman did her degree at Hornsea and her MA at Manchester. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and was notably represented in Reality: Modern and Contemporary British Painting, a major exhibition shown at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in 2014 and at the Walker Gallery, Liverpool in 2015.
South Denes Acrylic and Charcoal on Paper 67x97cm
Tim Reed: The Book of Kings: a new installation of 12 paintings based on the life of King David.
Tim Reed is a professional set designer from North Norfolk (see www.timreed.com ) who also works as a visual artist. Inspired by a National Theatre reading of the story of David in the Book of Kings, Tim has used a technique of Japanese ink drawing and gilding to produce a remarkable series of twelve images of key moments from the Biblical narrative, David Danced, David and Jonathan and David Wept. These are large works on paper, about 1.5 x 1 m, and they split elegantly into three groups. Each work is based on a careful study from a live model that is then progressively refined until the essence of the body in action can be rendered in a minimal number of freely drawn brush strokes. Minimal line work and gold leaf complete each simple but very effective work. David’s love for Saul’s son Jonathan comes over in their intertwined bodies and his grief for his soon-to-die son by Bathsheba is intelligently rendered. These are very unusual and beautifully made works that reflect a keen understanding of the body, of the strength of the biblical narrative and the possibilities of his formidable technique with the brush. The origins of this method of working can be seen in some of the other earlier groups of work shown alongside including The Fall, based on the story of Icarus and Daedalus. This often chilly but promising venue is certainly brought to life and joy by this lovely show.
Norwich City Hall Undercroft, Market Place, Norwich, 8-26 April 2015
Wed – Sat 11.00 am – 6.00 pm, Sun 11.00 am – 4.00 pm Free entry
REALITY: Modern and Contemporary British Painting
Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts
27 September 2014 – 1 March 2015
See www.scva.ac.uk/ for opening times
Last weekend I just happened to be standing in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford reading the small card, stuck in a gap on the wall, that told me their version of Sickert’s Ennui was away on loan. It was off to the Sainsbury Centre for their show Reality, and I wondered then how it would fit in. It turns out to be key. Bookending a span of almost 100 years, between the end of the First World War and the start of our latest foray into Syria and Iraq, this work by arguably one of the real giants of figurative painting in the twentieth century sets both the tone and the terms of the debate for what follows. This masterfully curated collection of works just sings off the wall as you walk round, firmly asserting three clear facts. First is the primacy and importance of actually being in front of unique objects, carefully crafted paintings. Second is the wonderful and persistent power of that line of figurative painting, stretching from Vermeer through Courbet to Constable and on to Sickert, that deals with how we look at and react to all that real stuff around us that makes up our daily existence. And third is the assurance that such work is alive and well and at the core of contemporary British art production, despite its invisibility in contemporary art teaching (witness the paucity of the genre in the recent NUA degree shows).
The artist/curator, Chris Stevens and his pal Paul Greenhalgh, together with the whole curatorial team at the SCVA, have done us proud—there isn’t a dud work in this huge assembly. From the Sickert we move to some ‘background’ exemplars to demonstrate the continuity of figurative practice; Spencer, Lowry, Bacon, Freud and Hockney lead us on to the core of the show, the works from British artists made in the last twenty or so years. Chris, who himself rebelled against Terry Frost’s tutorial insistence on abstraction, here typifies the subtle and indirect approaches to complex political and social issues that are possible with carefully-made and skilfully-crafted figurative paintings. I had the warm and underlying sense that throughout the show was a tough yet compassionate, secular humanism. An uplifting and positive sense that I rarely find in large shows of the conceptual, the abstract, or the installation that seem to dominate elsewhere in what sometimes feels like a parallel artistic universe. This show is nothing to do with the old sterile debates about whether painting is or is not dead; it clearly never will be, it just reinvents and adapts itself to the changing world its practitioners find themselves in.
What are the challenges that the real presents? We might start with the local, the domestic and look to the intimately reconstructed reflections on voyeurism and the complexity of the gaze that typify Caroline Walker’s huge canvases and Anthony Greens private domestic reality. And there is the solitude and empathy of what are actually small, but imaginary portraits by Sam Jackson. We could move on to the difficulty of landscape and reflect on George Shaw’s minutely enamelled scenes from his memories of Coventry, Katarzyna Coleman’s tightly observed industrial landscapes in her own Great Yarmouth or the giant concrete townscapes of David Hepher.
But the standouts for me were the Scots. It may be an irony that Reality, subtitled Modern and Contemporary British Painting, could last week so nearly have been without Scotland, but for me the two recent powerful paintings by Ken Currie are the stars of the show. Dirty King and A Hunting Lodge, with their echoes of Goya, Rembrandt and Bacon, are dark, biting examinations of our fragility and absurdity, and in paint that is applied and worked in such a way to conjure up flesh, authority and weakness in the most commanding manner. Add in the other Scots (or those trained in Scotland), Alan MacDonald’s conflation of classical landscape with contemporary paraphernalia, Alison Watt’s huge ambiguous folds of drapery, Jenny Saville’s reworking of the theme of the odalisque and Jock McFadyen’s haunted and vanishing landscapes and they make a compelling case for figurative painting as an all-consuming genre, a way of life for the artist that will continue to inform, thrill and inspire us all.
And lastly I should mention the terrific catalogue that accompanies the show. Edited by Chris Stevens, and with incisive essays by UEA’s Paul Greenhalgh, David Corbett and Sarah Bartholomew, the book is again a glorious production by our local team East Publishing.
Consulting the Oracle
2013, Oil on linen, 193 x 175 cm
© Caroline Walker
Afteryears: Reflections on British Art 1946-1952
The GALLERY at NUA
12 August – 13 September
Tue to Sat 12.00 – 5.00
Curation is a funny old business. When done well it is revelatory, persuasive and invisible, and so the curators tend to get less attention than when it's done badly. So, at the Gallery at NUA, Laura Dennis and Anthony Williams need to be brought out into the sunlight to receive loud acclaim for the spectacular show they have curated as part of their MA degree course. Afteryears: Reflections on British Art 1946-1952 examines what artists were creating in that extraordinary but brief period of social and political upheaval, between the post-war victory of the Labour Party, who promised within the new wider welfare state to provide for us all from the ‘cradle to the grave’, and the nation wide celebrations of the Festival of Britain. This was a time when the optimism of that period was also tempered by the need for massive reconstruction, not just of lost buildings but also of jobs, families, homes, landscapes and minds, while artists at the time were equally torn, between narrative, nostalgia, realism and abstraction.
The MA student curators have taken this rich background and explored the Arts Council’s well-stocked vaults to see how art reflected and engaged with these concerns. Under John Maynard Keynes, The Arts Council of Great Britain as it became in 1946, when it received its Royal Charter, commissioned and purchased widely, creating a collection that with the works from the Festival formed the basis of the current holdings. There are some real gems here. Although they had a huge impact at the time, there are no Moores, Freuds, Sutherlands or Bacons, but instead a roll call of less well-known artists have been chosen who document the period with precision and exuberance. And not content with researching the national scene, the curators have added a strong local context with a case full of Norwich-related books, documents and images. The bomb damage, the City of Norwich Plan of 1945 and a wonderful silent 16 minute film of a drive round the streets of central Norwich all contribute an eerie but relevant local context for the national concerns. It is of interest that that drive looks so much more dated now than the works of art on show!
Prunella Clough’s Lowestoft Harbour also highlights the local context, while Jack Smith’s glorious After the Meal emphasises the importance of the domestic at a time of rationing and before the advent of TV and the digital age. From the lesser-known works my favourites included a small Craxton and a remarkable Hepworth of reconstructive surgeons at work in the new NHS. This is a wonderful and intelligent show, and I am sure the student curators who are responsible passed with flying colours; they have a great career in front of them on this showing.
Below: Nan Reid, Fish and Chip Shop in Chelsea, 1952, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Estate of the artist.
Richard Robinson: Paintings, Constructions and Assemblages
Anteros Arts Foundation
7-15 Fye Bridge St.
Norwich, NR3 1LJ
3 April – 2 May
Artists have, of course, long been fascinated by the underlying structure and geometry of Nature. From Leonardo to Leger, from Cezanne to Sutherland, it is the relationships between the underlying material structures of our natural world and the world of appearances that has been a major driver of artistic reflection and creativity. John Ruskin said, “there is a science of the aspects of things as well as of their nature; and it is as much a fact to be noted in their constitution, that they produce such and such an effect upon the eye or heart…as that they are made up of certain atoms or vibrations of matter”.
It is just such deep concerns, of appearance, science, nature and art, which animate the dazzling paintings of Richard Robinson that are now on show at Anteros. Robinson, who studied under Roy Ascott at Ipswich, and at Central School of Art, London, has been interested in these themes for a very long time, and while this is far removed from being a retrospective, these large structured and layered landscapes reflect a long engagement with the ideas behind them. There are magically painted layers, overlapping, intersecting, shading, and reflecting, that create complex structural analogues of woods, copses, trees and bushes. These are landscapes that, at one level, remind me of Paul Nash’s obsessions with particular geometric landscape features, like his Wittenham Clumps. At another level, though, they are a less mystical and more concrete celebration of our English landscape, while still preserving that romantic link to history and to place.
Hats off to Anteros for hosting this wonderful show, and hats off to Robertson for filling the space with such imaginative and beautifully crafted works. This is the best show they have had there for quite some time.
Art as Architecture
This beautifully hung exhibition is a pleasure to see. The teacher and pupil, both still working and making, but now exhibiting together, have created a surprising and elevating show. Surprising because it is not immediately obvious that Catchpole’s art and Morris’s art are that compatible and would work together. The winning thematic link turns out to be the church. Not the institution, but the ancient, physical, built structures themselves that permeate the Norfolk landscape.
Morris is obsessed by the piercings within the church, and in particular the special angled or slanted windows often called squints, or more properly hagioscopes, that were often placed in the chancel wall of early churches to permit a view of the alter. Real examples are shown below:
Morris would insist on the formalist purity of his inventive and immaculate transformations of such piercings, but I am also intrigued by the resonances of these spaces, blocked or unblocked, a view of the host or not, are the viewers secret or the chosen, are we inside or outside? These ‘trapped spaces’ are rich in content as well as form and they work wonderfully and calmly on the walls of the gallery. I particularly loved the more recent reworking of an older stainless steel piece, now called Five Slanted Red Windows.
Catchpole’s work is suddenly evolving. For some time he has been known for his witty and clever carved wooden pieces married to the polished steel tools of the land he grew up in, spades, forks and trowels. But I think he realises there are limits to this line of inquiry and it is the new work that really impresses me. Now the steel parts of the tools have gone and have been replaced by more abstract renderings of the tools but made again in wood, and the thematic links with Morris’s work now become more apparent, particularly in the new series of Reliquaries. Such portable containers, or boxes, were made by hand with love and care to contain valuable and revered relics, and Catchpole’s complex new versions are architectural and sculptural reflections both on their making and on their links with the church’s surrounding land and the tools of the makers who worked there.
This is an exhibition that is a testament both to the making process itself and to the ancient local traditions that such making implies. Do just go and have a look…
Katarzyna Coleman: Paintings, Drawings and Prints
It's not often that this site ventures out of Norfolk but here, at a stroke, are two very good reasons indeed to go to Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast. The first is to explore the wonderful old jettied building on the High Street that has recently been transformed into a white and welcoming gallery, founded "to show contemporary art of exceptional, timeless and universal quality". So far all the artists shown have been drawn from the core of the nearby 'Great Yarmouth Group' of painters, so it will be interesting to see where they go next. But for now, the second reason to make the journey is to see Katarzyna Coleman's recent work, documenting and working on the bleak Yarmouth industrial landscape. Her large charcoal and acrylic works are augmented here with a series of excellent monotypes, but it is the larger works, particularly those upstairs, that really impress.
upstairs at the Gallery
There are many resonances at work here. Her subject matter also inspired the early Prunella Clough, the melancholy, desolate but majestic remnants of a once-flourishing, industrial environment. Indeed, Coleman was taught briefly by Clough at Wimbledon. But her repetitive linear approach, that progressively and carefully maps out the structure and composition, and her restricted (but decidedly not monochrome) palette, mark out a highly distinctive and individual approach. As more insistent acrylic masses appear in the more recent works, overcoming the linear dominance, the overwhelming feel is of a landscape that is both sculptural and of an indeterminate scale. For me the nearest link, rather bizarrely, is to the works that Morandi made in his obsessive reworkings of a small number of totemic objects.
Coleman is an artist who now works with a confidence and authority that allows her vision to emerge convincingly and movingly on the canvas. This is a wonderful show and is well worth the trip to Lowestoft!
At the Merchant House Gallery, 102 High Street, Lowestoft, NR32 1XW Open Wed-Sat from 11 to 4 a.m.
Emrys Parry is perhaps the least visible of that group of remarkably talented artists that are increasingly somehow thought of as the Great Yarmouth school of painters! But this would be unfair, for this Welsh Wizard has a talent and consistency that shines out and should be better known. Still deeply rooted in his native Welsh village, this history provides both the psychological context and the sources of his work; people, ancestors, landscapes and memories. Simplified and codified, these sources become totems of his imagination, motifs constantly repeated and reworked in his paintings and drawings. This is a serious body of work that will repay careful looking.
More details and images can be found on their website at www.mandellsgallery.co.uk
My own favourites are the two large charcoal landscape drawings, one of which, Llanfihangel Bachellaeth, is shown below:
New Works by Frances Kearney: Running Wild
Norwich Castle Museum: Colman Project Space Saturday 5 October 2013 – Sunday 23 March 2014
Untitled III, 2013 from series Running Wild
This new series of work by the acclaimed British artist Frances Kearney has been made especially for Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. Displayed within the context of the Norwich School paintings, in the newly created Colman Project Space, these large-scale photographic tableaux are beautiful yet disquieting. They respond to the idea of ‘landscape’ with an eye on our present day relationship with the ‘great outdoors.’ Carefully choreographed Kearney demonstrates her fascination with human behaviour, in particular the ways in which we interact with nature and its effects on the human psyche. Five of the full series of nine works are currently displayed but the others will make an appearance later in the year, so make sure you pop along more than once to catch them all.
Kearney has researched what she terms the ‘decreasing connection of our society’, in particular this disconnection as it relates to young people and the outdoors and a collapse of children’s engagement with nature. She sets this within the context of the British landscape tradition and our more usual engagement with landscape as romantic subject matter in art. By photographing what she calls ‘Edgelands’ (a term borrowed from Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts) in grey weather conditions, and setting within these young girls performing sometimes ambiguous activities, Kearney questions our contemporary relationship to landscape – both as environment and subject in art.
The commission is funded largely by a grant from the Arts Council but we at NCAS have also contributed and we are delighted that one of the new works will enter the Castle's collection of contemporary work.
Frances Kearney (born 1970) is a UK artist whose work employs the photographic medium and often takes the form of large-scale colour tableaux at the scale of 4ft x 5ft. She references painting, literature, film, art history, contemporary culture as well as her life. Since graduating with a Masters in Photography from the Royal College of Art, London in 1998 Kearney has exhibited widely. Her works are held in public collections at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Media Museum Bradford, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, The Saatchi Collection as well as various private collections in the UK and abroad.
For more information see www.franceskearney.com
CURIOSITY: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing
28 September 2013 – 5 January 2014 at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
‘Like the cabinet of curiosities of the 17th century, which mixed science and art, ancient and modern, reality and fiction, this exhibition refuses to choose between knowledge and pleasure. It juxtaposes historical periods and categories of objects to produce an eccentric map of curiosity in its many senses’ says Curator Brian Dillon.’
This is an exhibition devoted to wonder, awe and mystery in contemporary art and beyond. It draws on the rich tradition of the Wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities, reveals surprising meetings between art and science, and explores the ways that artists today mine themes of fascination, inquiry, obsession, monstrosity and invention. Its content ranges from seventeenth-century collections of manmade and natural wonders to key works by contemporary artists such as Aura Satz and Pablo Bronstein.
The exhibition brings together artworks and artefacts from five centuries of rigorous inquiry and delightful strangeness. Drawing on the collections of major museums in the UK and abroad, it includes examples from cabinets of curiosities of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, paintings and drawings that reflect not only the curious mind of the artist but the collector’s immersion among oddities and wonders, and specimens from medical and natural history.
The focus of the exhibition will be on the ways that recent art has engaged this earlier history of curiosity and its contemporary forms. It will include works by such artists as Nina Katchadourian, who conceives of her work as a form of heightened ‘attention’ (a key term in the show) and Katie Paterson, whose explorations of astronomy and related sciences maintain a strong sense of wonder. Among others whose work responds to the questing and wondrous spirit of the exhibition are Gunda Förster and Laurent Grasso.
Curated by writer and critic Brian Dillon, the exhibition has been originated by Hayward Touring, organized in collaboration with Turner Contemporary. It is produced in association with Cabinet: a quarterly magazine that playfully crosses the boundaries between art, science, literature, history, philosophy and popular culture.
Please visit the website (www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk)museums.norfolk.gov.uk) to download a brochure for a range of events associated with Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing.
Ana Maria Pacheco's The Longest Journey in the East Gallery
Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, is one of the most ambitious exhibitions in the region's recent history, celebrating the artistic heritage of East Anglia, from antiquity through to the present day. It is curated by Ian Collins who talked recently to the NCAS about the background to the exhibition and some of the key exhibits.
The exhibition encompasses over 270 masterpieces across the media, including painting, furniture, sculpture, design, jewellery, textiles and a wealth of stunning treasures.
The publication Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia, edited by Ian Collins, features exclusive essays illustrated with luxurious colour prints. Available in the Sainsbury Centre Shop, Jarrolds and the City Bookshop. £25.
This major exhibition brings together over 250 objects that the region has inspired, produced and collected, as well as treasures that have been long associated with the area. This exhibition has been made possible through generous loans from over sixty major public and private collections including the Royal Collection, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery.
The extraordinarily diverse selection of masterworks ranges from paintings, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, glass and jewellery to photography, graphic design, fashion and costume, product and textile design.
There is a lot more information about the rich programme of exhibition-related events on their website at: www.scva.ac.uk
14 September 2013 – 24 February 2014
Mondays - Closed
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 8pm
Sundays 10am - 5pm
£8 (£6) adult
£20 family ticket
And extra parking has been provided for this blockbuster show!
Summer Show at Mandell's Gallery
John Allen goes from strength to strength with his lively Mandell’s Gallery in Elm Hill, Norwich, particularly in his support for excellent local living artists. And Norfolk is blessed with an abundance of these! His new, big, blockbuster summer show at the gallery is a tour de force with new works by more than 40 artists from all over the county, many of them well established names, but also with a good sprinkling of new or less well known artists. Many of the artists are members of either NCAS or Norwich 20 Group (or both!), so this really is an excellent opportunity to pop along there now and see (and buy) Norfolk’s best, and at the same time support our local artist community!
Katerzyna Coleman Exit the Ride 2
How The Land Lies
'2 Years and 40 paintings later' is how John Midgley describes his new exhibition at Corpusty this summer. It is hard not to be a real fan of John's thoughful and honest landscapes, which combine a fine observational sense with a transformational skill that results in powerful and emotive canvases. A selection from his How the Land Lies series will be on show at The Old Workshop Gallery in Corpusty.
Saturday 15 June to Sunday 21 July 2013.
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday Noon to 5pm
See more of John's work here.
Norwich Twenty Group at the Forum
This is the first of the N20G shows in Norwich this year and will present the best of their members work, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture. The event will be in the magnificent Forum Atrium where they have had several exhibitions in recent years. These proved to be exciting and thought-provoking events that attracted much attention which they hope to repeat on this occasion.
The Norwich Twenty Group of artists was formed in 1944. Now after over sixty years the membership has grown to more than seventy, these include painters, sculptors, installation and conceptual artists, printmakers and photographers.
Initially the founding members were mainly Norwich based, many of them associated with the Norwich School of Art and other local educational institutions. Today they are spread all around the county and as from the earliest days include many artists with national reputations.
The group aims to put on two exhibitions each year, a monthly discussion meeting, and a weekly life workshop.
Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm
The Red Light Gallery opens in Norwich
The Red Light Gallery, in the old Gospel Hall on the Dereham Road in Norwich, is the idea of Stuart Goodman and his son Adam. While Adam has just graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge with a photography degree and is a confirmed digital user, his father Stuart is still firmly rooted in traditional darkroom use. Both are members of the Lonely Arts Club
The opening show in the upstairs gallery features a dozen Norwich based artists including Kevin Lee, Kirsty O’Leary-Leeson and Jacqui Jones who all were in the finals of the reality art BBC2 show ‘Show me the Monet’ as well as sculptor Oliver Creed and textiles artist Jayne McConnell. The downstairs gallery is featuring a return to the ‘Goodmen’ show at the Forum last summer showing work by the father and son artists. The idea is to run regular short shows curated by an artist or group of artists. This variety of shows will keep the gallery vibrant and will encourage visitors. The response so far has been very encouraging. We have already had firm bookings for both galleries.
The Red Light Gallery is at 5 St Benedicts View Norwich NR2 4HH and is situated on the junction of Grapes Hill and Dereham Road.
Telephone number 01603 666039 (after May 13)
Lynda Morris: Dear Lynda…
As part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2013, the Gallery at NUA is proud to present 'Lynda Morris: Dear Lynda...', a fitting homecoming to celebrate the ongoing work of NUA Professor of Curation and Art History Lynda Morris, curator, writer, patron and muse.
This exhibition, originated by Matthew Higgs at White Columns New York 2012, covers Morris's extraordinary life and unbroken commitment to working closely with and for artists, as the 'artist's curator'.
Morris' practice and knowledge is illustrated through the display of an impressive personal 'archive' which relates directly to exhibitions she has organised and curated. She was curator of the Norwich Gallery on St Georges Street at NUA from 1980 to 2009 and was the founding curator of EASTinternational for 19 years from 1991.
Morris' material includes ephemera, posters, catalogues, articles and the art collection she occasionally purchased from the artists she worked with. 'Dear Lynda...' tells stories of the curatorial encounters Morris has had with some of the greatest artists of the century including Gilbert & George, Konrad Fischer, Richard Hamilton, John Baldessari, Art & Language, Marcel Broothaers, Sir William Coldstream, Richard Long, Nigel Henderson, Colin Self, Peter Doig and Andre Cadere.
Also on display are items relating to Morris' major exhibition Picasso...Peace and Freedom 2010 at Tate Liverpool, Albertina Vienna and the Louisiana Denmark and her continuing involvement with artists and the politics of peace.
During exhibitions the Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 5pm. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. ADMISSION FREE.
Fyffe Christie: Paintings and Drawings
The late, Glasgow-trained Fyffe Christie, was a major British romantic muralist, but in this retrospective it is some of his smaller works that take centre stage; landscapes and drawings and paintings that come from his classes at Sir John Cass School of Art. This is a great opportunity to see some of his wonderful work, and it is a credit to Anteros, which champions such figurative work. Fyffe's widow, artist Eleanor Fyffe-Christie is also a long time NCAS member.
Two Reclining Figures in Blue and Yellow Landscape 1977
Anteros Arts Foundation, 7-15 Fye Bridge St, Norwich, NR3 1LJ
Wednesday to Saturday, 10am - 5 pm. For more information click here.
Less is More: 3D works by four Norfolk Artists...
Mary Mellor, Derek Morris, Vanessa Pooley and Andrew Schumann, all of whom are NCAS members, are showing recent 3D work at the Forum, Norwich, from April 15th to the 21st. Free and open from 10 - 6 weekdays and 10 - 5 Sunday.
Vanessa Pooley Travellin' Light Mary Mellor Gaudeamus
Andrew Schumann Green Fuse 3 Derek Morris Untitled
Art Alive! Art Show at the Assembly House
Yvonne and John Millwood have now made their first wonderful East Anglian open show into a biennial event, comfortably alternating with our own NCAS biennial exhibition in the Forum. This year they have again filled the gardens and galleries of the Assembly House with new work from a very wide range of artists in the region and using every conceivable media, and produced a visually exciting catalogue to go with it. This year The Assembly House Trust awarded five prizes for works in the show, which went to what I felt were five very deserving artists, Mary Mellor, David Jones, James Gladwell, Rachel Long and Leslie Marr. Some of my favourites were Bruer Tidman's painting, Drawing Cheryl and Thinking of Goya, Nicky Stainton's paintings of Matriarchs and Mabon Llyr's mysterious infra red photograph of Echeveria glauca.
Maggi Hambling Night Waves
This is a great opportunity to see some of the best new contemporary artworks in the region, but it is also a wonderful chance to buy them! Do go and see it.
To find out more, go here.
John Christie, who gave us such an illuminating talk recently on his work with John Berger, is having his own one-man show at the North House Gallery at The Walls, Manningtree, Essex, CO11 1AS. The exhibition runs from 6th April to 4th May.
John Christie, Red/Yellow/Black, Pastel on paper, 2012, 27x38cm.
In the last year or so John Christie, born 1945, has produced a susbstantial body of immaculate work in pastel on paper. The Dazzle series is inspired by Edward Wadsworth’s dazzle camouflage for ships in the First World War. Other series derive and develop from his own wooden constructions which will be shown alongside.
His perfectionist streak and design credentials have always been apparent in his long career as a maker of artists’ books. Ron King of the Circle Press said that Christie only had to be shown how to do something once for him to be able to do it straight away better than anyone. From 1975 Christie produced more than 20 limited edition books for the Circle Press and his own imprint Objectif. He co-authored, with John Berger, the award-winning book I Send You This Cadmium Red. His prints, drawings and artists’ books are in many collections worldwide including Tate, the V & A, and MOMA, New York.
As a director and cameraman his TV programmes include Another Way of Telling, a BBC series on photography made in collaboration with John Berger and Jean Mohr; Salvage of Soho Photographer, a C4 documentary on John Deakin and First Hand, a series of seven films based on literarary manuscripts from the British Library.
He is one of four founders of Full Circle Editions, designing the collectable books of texts, new and classic, relating to East Anglia and illustrated by artists of the region.
These three exhibitions are a rare opportunity to see some of the wonderful products of Japan's ancient practice of hand made papers. Not only the papers themselves but some of the beautifully delicate sculptures, pictures and objects made with them are on show. This is a major cluster of exhibitions and not to be missed!
Washi: The Art of Japanese Paper
Exhibition 12 March-20 April, Norwich University of the Arts
The Gallery at NUA, St George's Street, Norwich NR3 1BB.
A unique viewing in Europe of over 100 papers from two major collections, the 19th century Parkes papers held at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and 21st century papers from the Washi: The Soul of Japan Committee in Kyoto. Both feature papers made with great skill and of exceptional beauty.
The Art and Soul of Paper
Exhibitions - 56 paper artists from around the world respond to washi, organised by the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA).
Mandell's Gallery and 20 Elm Hill Display Windows (11 March - 6 April);
Anteros Arts Foundation and the ArtShopProject (11 March - 20 April).
Gallery & Shop, 1 Earlham House Shops, Earlham Road, Norwich NR2 3PD
More details at: www.artandsoulofpaper.com
Norfolk abstract artists, Martin Battye and Geoffrey Lefever, are staging a joint exhibition, Stains on the Silence, at The Cut, Halesworth. More than 50 works are on show.
Martin Battye said: “Both Geoffrey and I used to have studio space at the old Bally Shoe Factory in Norwich. I am now based at Hempnall and Geoffrey has a studio at Fengate near Aylsham. We have worked together and shown together for a number of years and have very different, but complementary approaches.”
Martin Battye is currently Chairman of Norwich 20 Group (N20G) and Geoffrey Lefever is a long-term member of the group, joining in the 1960s. Both are also NCAS members.
The Cut Arts Centre, 8 The New Cut, Halesworth IP19 8BY
Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00
12th February 2013 to 16th March 2013
Leslie Marr: Self portrait
Robert Travers is showing an exhibition of the work of Norfolk artist, and long term NCAS member, Leslie Marr. The show is to mark his 90th birthday and will be held at his gallery at Piano Nobile, 129 Portland Street, London, W11 4LW from 23rd November to 15th December 2012.
Private view, opened by Terry Jones, 22 Nov 6.30
Mon-Fri. 10.00am - 6.00pm
The successor to Salthouse, this years open exhibition of the North Norfolk Exhibition Project is for the first time at Cley, in the St Margaret of Antioch's church. It is curated by Isabel Vasseur, who talked about the show at the NCAS AGM. Architects, sound pieces, designers and sculptors have combined to populate the aisles of the church and the surrounding landscape with remarkable works. More details can be found on their website.
The Annual Cley 12 runs from 5th July to 5th August 2012. The exhibition is open daily, free entry, from 10am – 5.30pm with a few late openings till 8.30pm.
Eric Moody's Schism is the latest show at Mandell's Gallery, which has really been undergoing a renaissance in the last few years under John Allen. It is good to see them embracing so much excellent contemporary work in addition to their more conventional stock. This is a big exhibition, both in scale and intent. The predominantly recent works, made since his illness a few years ago (the schism), reflect his long term concerns about globalisation and the power of market forces, and about the way that the personal detritus of life impinges on us all, both morally and visually. Whether it is his thoughtful responses to the Tsunami, cheap imported goods, or the decline of ritual, his strong political concerns light up his vibrant and complex images, constructions, assemblages and prints in moving and intelligent ways. There are strong nods to the past; pop art, primitive art, the surrealists, cultural theorising, but the net result is a coherent, joyful and playful set of objects that challenge our thinking about the role of art and its place today in our consumer-driven society. There is a great catalogue and a fine booklet of Q&As to go with htis excellent show, which you really must catch before it moves out at the end of June. And do look out for the great series Dozen Bobs, my favourite!
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