• James Stewart

Review of 2020 & look forward to 2021

Normally at this time of year we look back at some of the exhibition highlights of the year, but in retrospect we feel lucky to have held any at all.


June


As soon as we could open again, we presented our usual Summer Exhibition introducing two new artists Kate Boucher (charcoal Sussex landscapes) and Paul Newland (observed & imagined landscapes).

Kate Boucher’s evocative charcoal and pastel works are created in response to landscapes that are in some way, transitional. These landscapes are recorded in the liminal states of twilight and daybreak, where the separation seems thinner between the real, the sensed and the remembered.


Boucher responds to these landscapes through a drawing and making practice, exploring this tension between the sensed and the known. She immerses herself in her chosen landscapes, inhabits them, travels through them, on repeated and habitual routes, recording her complex responses to that landscape through intense study, habitual practices and serial working.


Paul Newland is based in East Sussex and his subjects are landscape, townscape and where the two meet. He works on site as well as in the studio, combining - he hopes - the observed and the imaginary.

​​

He says "I hope the work speaks for itself. I sometimes paint directly from things but mostly, perhaps, I work from drawings and studies. Often I am trying to combine recollection and imagination with observation, in a single picture."


In June had planned an exhibition in a Sussex barn with Kate Boucher, Paul Newland and two others, and still hope to bring this pop-up in 2021 (keep an eye on our exhibtions page for updates!).


July

In July we presented Ensembles & Configurationsan exhibition of paintings by Phil Tyler, looking outward at people at large galleries and inwardly with some brilliant still life paintings using everyday domestic objects (chairs, tables, books).


The Ensemble paintings showed people milling around large cavernous public gallery spaces, in this case the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. The outward looking figures are represented as if in baroque tableaux, acting out some silent drama.


These pieces are particularly poignant in view of the lockdown, when many people are sheltering at home, wary of groups, creating a different sense of unease.

The Configuration series of paintings are inward looking mise en scene using everyday domestic objects (chairs, tables etc). The works explore concepts of palpable tension and loaded silence And can be compared to John Bratby’s ‘kitchen sink’ still life works from the 1950’s.


These paintings have their roots in Tyler’s abstract paintings of the 1980’s, which themselves are reminiscent of Franz Kline’s exploration of the enlarged image of a black chair projected onto a wall.


Many people could not come to the exhibition, so we created three video interviews with Phil Tyler in which he talks frankly about his work, lockdown and the inspiration for the two new series of paintings - you can still see these in our Video Channel.


This Phil Tyler exhibition was postponed from April, and this month we will add to our Editions Shop, three Configuration etchings that have just been editioned.


August


For the first time in 18 years our August exhibition was not part of the annual Arundel Festival and Gallery Trail, both of which were cancelled in 2020.


During the month we presented an exhibition of Master Printmakers including Tracey Emin, Tom Hammick, Howard Hodgkin, Peter Blake and others.


See Peter Blake’s 2020 screen print ‘Olympic Symbol’ created for the postponed Olympics, a further motif for 2020!


See also Howard Hodgkin’s two Olympic prints: ‘Swimming’ for the 2012 Games and ‘Road to Rio’ for 2016.




We also included contributions from contemporary artists such as Holly Frean.


See her ‘54 Dogs’ a large scale grid of man’s best friend using gouache potato print on handmade cotton rag paper. This bright colourful monotype was effective not least because of the choice and combination of colours used.


See the full collection in our Editions Shop.


October


Our last exhibition in Tarrant Street, was with Piers Ottey and his brilliant ‘West Coast’ paintings looking at Cannery Row, San Francisco and Yosemite. The exhibition was well received, many of the paintings are still online to view.


It was a ‘stop over’ on the way back from New Zealand to the UK in which Piers Ottey followed in the footsteps of such West Coast painters as Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, Ed Ruscha and other Bay Area artists.


Piers Ottey wanted to explore the area that produced a lot of the work that he likes by artists that he respects.


2021


In 2021 and as long as lockdowns continue we will ‘pivot’ in terms of the emphasis of works presented online.


So for the time being we will still represent the many great artists that we know you like, and promote them on this website, social media and in newsletters.


But, until we can hold exhibitions again, we will also present and promote Editions by both established (Emin, Hodgkin, Blake, Hammick, Caulfield etc) and emerging (Nick Bodimeade, Phil Tyler, Giles Penny etc) artists.


If you have a questions or would like to see any of these pieces, or the work of another Artist or an artwork that you have seen on one of our online shops: Editions, Books & Ceramics; please contact us by phone, email, website form, online chat and through social media direct messages (Twitter & Instagram).


We offer free delivery to London and the South East, contact us to find out more.