SHArtAdvisor

Sandra Higgins Independent Art Advisor and Curator

Patricia Poullain’s ‘Pure Painting’

In 1965 New York’s MOMA held an exhibition titled ‘The Responsive Eye’. It presented to the public one of the first retrospective exhibitions on the new movement Optical Art. Artists such as Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Jesús Soto, Yaacov Agam, and Frank Stella, were included in this groundbreaking exhibition. While in New York, artist Patricia Poullain visited this exhibition, inspired by the work and its ‘geometric hard edges’, she decided from then on to pursue a career in ‘Pure Painting’.

May 1998, 1998, Acrylic on paper, 57 x 47 cm

May 1998, 1998, Acrylic on paper, 57 x 47 cm

Pure Painting as Poullain describes is not trying to tell a story or create symbolism; it isn’t about a mood or an expression, it is just purely painting. The way the colours work together and the way the proportions and shapes work together creates a structure. This allows Poullain to be disciplined in her application. Poullain will spend time sitting, just looking at a canvas before applying paint to see if it calls out for a certain shape or colour. She works ‘on a flat plain…not trying to deceive the eye, perhaps to tease it a little’ and is inspired by Matisse’s idea – the more it is flat, the more it is beautiful. Poullain’s paintings have always steered clear of large scale gesture and overt displays of feelings.

March 2009, 2009, Acrylic on paper, 28 x 28 cm

March 2009, 2009, Acrylic on paper, 28 x 28 cm

It can be argued that Op Art wouldn’t have been possible let alone embraced by the public without the prior Abstract and Expressionist movements that de-emphasized representational subject matter. In many cases this is the same of Poullain’s work – it has remained remarkably consistent since the sixties and in general avoids the disruptive aspects of Op Art, but it also embraces Abstraction in the idea that the subject (if any) is based on what you see.

July 2002, 2002, Acrylic on paper, 57 x 57 cm

July 2002, 2002, Acrylic on paper, 57 x 57 cm

 A question that springs to mind is how these works relate to the context of contemporary art culture? Are we still discussing issues raised more than 40 years ago? Can the concerns and ideas artist faced then have a correlation to the concerns of today’s artists? By consistently and systematically producing work that talks about ideas of form, colour and shape, Poullain references the movements of the sixties whilst reaffirming notions of optical phenomena and abstraction. Like Bridget Riley who has steadfastly created Op Art from its beginning to the present day (with slight shifts in achromatic to chromatic), Poullain aged 87 is still purely painting. She has created works which are in general, purposefully uneventful. Her work is more about the process of painting than the representation of a subject matter which shows some underlining deconstruction of modernist thought.

Patricia Poullain will be visiting London to attend the Shakespeare Readers Society Event as well as meeting with her dealer Sandra Higgins to discuss her work and exhibitions. If you would like to meet Patricia and view her work at the Gallery Petit in Chelsea, please email Sandra at sandra@sandrahiggins.com.

Alannah Pirrit

Research Assistant

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Future Plans

Gallery Petit will be closing for the holidays during the month of August.
Thank you to all who have supported us and joined us at our recent shows:

OFELIA RODRIGUEZ retrospective at the Colombian Consulate
Making Art Group show curated by Sandra Higgins with performance artist Silvia Ziranek
JEANNE MASOERO – Magnetic Fields
DAVID FERRY – Desirable Ridge Intrusions
Paintings and sculptures by BREON O’CASEY, in collaboration with the Stoneman Gallery
New Possibilities: Abstract Paintings from the 1970s co-curated by Sandra Higgins and Megan Piper, at the Piper Gallery
BARRIE COOK – Courting Colour at the Newman Street Gallery and at Gallery Petit

Although the gallery will be closed, you can still view works by appointment. We have currently on display works by Peter Randall-Page, Patricia Poullain, Richard Walker, David Stetson, Graham Boyd, Nina Dolan and Ofelia Rodriguez. For more information, email sandra@sandrahiggins.com

Peter Randall-Page, Ironed Out I

Peter Randall-Page, Ironed Out I

Gallery Petit may be on holiday but we’re getting excited about the start of our Autumn series of exhibitions. Sandra is off to New York to choose Marc Blane’s work in preparation for his upcoming show, ‘Financial Statements’, opening November 19th. The show will bring together a controversial series of mixed media works on linen including American currency, exhibited in London for the first time! Whilst out there she will also be keeping an eye on the hot, new trends showing in the Big Apple’s galleries. Look out for updates from Sandra’s visit on Discover Art Now where she’ll be reporting on what she ‘discovers’ on her travels as well as all the big news on the Art scene!

We will be back in September with an exciting programme of exhibitions and salon receptions.

Marc Blane

We are delighted to begin our autumn programme with New York artist Marc Blane. His series ‘Financial Statements’ is a provocative and pertinent collection of mixed media works on linen, which embody the conundrum of globalised capitalism today.

Marc Blane, Growth Portfolio (Detail)

Marc Blane, Growth Portfolio (Detail)

John Sydney Carter

We are very excited to be showing a selection of works by celebrated sculptor John Sydney Carter at a private salon later in the autumn.
This show will bring together smaller and larger sculptures – some of which will be recast exclusively for the show. Carter, a fellow of the Royal Society of Sculpture, has most recently been commissioned to complete his ‘Leicester Lightbulb’ – a new 30ft landmark conceived to put the city on the map.

John Sydney Carter in the studio

John Sydney Carter in the studio

David Stetson

Photographer David Stetson will be returning to London after his career has taken him to New York and Tokyo, and will be exhibiting his new fine art photography for the first time. These large-scale works on aluminium are not to be missed!

David Stetson, Falling Water

David Stetson, Falling Water

Richard Walker

Our next pop-up exhibition will take place in the heart of Chelsea, featuring early works from the 70s by Richard Walker. Entitled ‘Rip It Up and Start Again’, the show will revisit the punk heritage of Chelsea’s King’s Road.

Richard Walker, Sex

Richard Walker, Sex

artBO and Cartagena Biennial, Colombia

Following Ofelia Rodriguez’s successful exhibition at the Colombian Consulate last month, and to develop her keen interest in Latin American – and particularly Colombian – art, Sandra Higgins will be visiting artBO – the international contemporary art fair in Bogota this October, as well as the first biennial of international contemporary art in Cartagena de Indias.

Sandra with artist Miler Lagos, whose work can be see in the Paper exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery until 29 September

Sandra with artist Miler Lagos, whose work can be see in the Paper exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery until 29 September

OFELIA RODRIGUEZ: Gazing At The World While Hanging From The Sky

RETROSPECTIVE

10 July – 26 July, 2013

Consulate General of Colombia, London

‘My interest is in creating, within my given space, a visual world of colour … abandoning traditional modes of representation and contrasting abstract forms with the cutting, the pasting and the stitching of real-life forms. For me, art is the most intimate expression of the totality that I have lived.’

Ofelia Rodriguez

The Embassy and the Consulate General of Colombia are delighted to host a retrospective exhibition of work by the renowned Colombian artist, OFELIA RODRIGUEZ. This retrospective is curated and inspired by Sandra Higgins, a long-time friend and dealer for artist.

Ofelia Rodriguez, Attacking an Injured Heart (Al ataque de un corazón herido), mixed media, 116 x 91cms, 2008

Ofelia Rodriguez, Attacking an Injured Heart (Al ataque de un corazón herido), mixed media, 116 x 91cms, 2008

The exhibition brings together a selection of paintings, prints, etchings and sculpture – the artist’s signature ‘magic boxes’ – which span across her career, and map the development of the key features of her work. Rodriguez has created a visual language all her own, with idiosyncratic motifs that are immediately recognisable: alligators, pelicans, horns, dolls, and elements of her own body such as her hands, eyes, and tongue. A fusion of magical realism, Latin Pop and kitsch art: Rodriguez incorporates snippets from Latin American folklore with surreal assemblages of found and ready-made objects, all brought together with the vivid use of tropical Caribbean colours.

Ofelia Rodriguez, Gazing at the World While Hanging from the Sky (Contemplando al Mundo MientrasCuelga Del Cielo), mixed media, 104 x 142cm, 2009

Ofelia Rodriguez, Gazing at the World While Hanging from the Sky (Contemplando al Mundo MientrasCuelga Del Cielo), mixed media, 104 x 142cm, 2009

A Barranquilla native, Ofelia Rodriguez received her BA from the University of the Andes in Bogota before completing a Master’s degree at Yale University in the United States. Her artistic career then took off in Paris, with shows at the Grand Palais and the Centre Culturel Jacques Prévert. During this early period, and shortly after her move to London, Rodriguez was also exhibited at Sandra Higgins’ Mayfair gallery and – more recently – launched Higgins’ new series of salon shows at her Chelsea-based Gallery Petit.

Ofelia Rodriguez, Magic Box with Banker Pondering whether to turn Cowboy, mixed media, 38 x 22 cm, 2006

Ofelia Rodriguez, Magic Box with Banker Pondering whether to turn Cowboy, mixed media, 38 x 22 cm, 2006

Rodriguez received an award at the 31st Salón Nacional de Artistas – Colombia’s most prestigious art prize – and has also taken part in the 20th Sao Paolo Biennale, the 5th Havana Biennale and the 2nd Biennale of Santo Domingo. In addition, the artist has been featured in several important publications which include 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die (edited by Stephen Farthing and J V Ivans), Beyond the Fantastic: Contemporary Art Criticism from Latin America (edited by Gerardo Mosquera) as well as Latin American Art of the 20th Century, and Art Today (both edited by Edward Lucie-Smith).

Ofelia Rodriguez, Dead Landscape in Midair (Naturaleza muerta en el aire), mixed media, 170 x 110cms, 1989

Ofelia Rodriguez, Dead Landscape in Midair (Naturaleza muerta en el aire), mixed media, 170 x 110 cm, 1989

Throughout her career her work has travelled to exhibitions in cities such as Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Monaco, Maastricht, Besançon, Manchester, Miami and Monterrey – as well as recent exhibitions within Colombia in Bogotà,Santa Marta and Cartagena de Indias. Gazing At The World While Hanging From The Sky: A Retrospective follows this series of recent exhibitions organised in tribute to the artist, and marks the zenith of a long and glorious career. This show is an invitation to delve into her imaginary and fantastic Caribbean world, where myths, legends and popular traditions intertwine with daily life. The result is art that is at times a poetic, albeit critical look at the world, combined with an undercurrent of dark humour and irony lurking between the lines.

Ofelia and Sandra HIggins, Ofelia's dealer in London and long-time friend

Ofelia and Sandra HIggins, Ofelia’s dealer in London and long-time friend

Location: Consulate General of Colombia, Westcott House, Portland Place, London W1B 1AE

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 1:30pm, or by appointment

For more information about the exhibition, please contact Sandra Higgins at sandra@sandrahiggins.com 

 

MAKING ART: Group Show

27 June – 19 July, 2013

Gallery Petit, Chelsea, London

Pamina Brassey – Tatty Devine – Vicky Hawkins – Jeff McMillan – Carol McNicoll – Helen O’Keefe – Peter Randall-Page – Allegra Rose – Catherine Shakespeare Lane – Jake Tilson – Jessica Voorsanger – Silvia Ziranek

MAKING ART is a collaboration between established independent art advisor, SANDRA HIGGINS, and acclaimed perfomance artist, SILVIA ZIRANEK. As part of her on-going cultural programme at her Gallery Petit, Higgins has invited Ziranek to co-curate this exhibition.

‘Work about working, work about making (art): sewing; sawing; sticking; dipping; welding; spelling; printing; painting; framing; shooting; sculpting. Colour, shape and form – and how art’s made.A sense of life, of light, of joy in the creative process unites this exhibition and its twelve makers.’

Silvia Ziranek

Pamina Brassey – ‘Pamina takes objects out of context to design playful silver jewellery. From architectural ruins to pasta, smashed car windscreens to nut and bolts, her sterling silver interpretations (including literal use of recycled glass in some), appeal to her rebel aesthetic while making them precious and highlighting their unexpected beauty as body adornment.’

Venetian Window Bracelet, silver.

Venetian Window Bracelet, silver.

Tatty Devine is an independent British company designing and micro- manufacturing original jewellery in the UK.Their standout designs are all about expressing yourself in a fun and distinctive way. Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden founded Tatty Devine in 1999 and they continue to run the company from a studio in London’s East End, where it all started. Harriet and Rosie have built a global success story with their unique take on jewellery.They work collaboratively and manage a team of 30 and have recently been honored with MBEs.

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 5.26.55 PM

‘We are here, not because we are law breakers;We are here in our efforts to become law makers.’, 2013, laser cut acrylic and metal chain, 1/ed. of 5, 25 x 120 cm.

Vicky Hawkins – ‘Dreams, cherished childhood memories, birth, the gorgeousness of life, death. I am a storyteller these are my subjects. I make my stories using paint, vintage photographs, fabrics, dolls, alphabet pasta, short, darkly comic films and limited editions of hand made books.’

‘Whatever Is Up With Our Vicky ?’, 2013, 10 hand made books, 21 x 30 cm.

‘Whatever Is Up With Our Vicky ?’, 2013, 10 hand made books, 21 x 30 cm.

Jeff McMillan was born in the US and has lived and worked in London since 1998. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions in the US and UK including the John Moores Painting Prize in Liverpool (2002, 2004, 2006) and he has recently held one-person exhibitions at Four All Saints(2011), London, Kinzelman Fine Art, Houston, and PEER, London (2009). He creates new paintings by marrying found forms or images such as second-hand canvases or antique engravings with rich, physical paint.

Untitled (Lady Hamilton), 2011, ink on found engraving, 23 x 27 cm.

Untitled (Lady Hamilton), 2011, ink on found engraving, 23 x 27 cm.

Carol McNicoll – ‘My work is always conceived as inhabiting the domestic environment, for me the home is both the most demanding and the most exciting environment in which to place work. All my work is functional, I love the fact that an object changes when it is used, put fruit in a dish about war and it says something completely different. I use my work to rant I hope in an entertaining way about the issues that both annoy and amuse me. In this series of work I have incorporated some of it in the pieces, which for some unknown reason all seem to be concerned with the military industrial complex.’

Fantasies, 2011, ceramics, 34 x 27 cm, Marsden Woo Gallery.

Fantasies, 2011, ceramics, 34 x 27 cm, Marsden Woo Gallery.

Helen O’Keefe – ‘Colour is my life. I’m greatly influenced by the wonderful colours found in India, in all aspects of life – rich but subtle colours in off-beat combinations are around every corner. In my plexiglass and mirror boxes I create multi-layered images in mixed media. The reflections shift and alter as the viewer moves around and the viewer’s image itself becomes part of the picture.These are works always in progress.’

Heartfelt (box), acrylic on plexiglass and mirror, 30 x 40 x 15cm.

Heartfelt (box), acrylic on plexiglass and mirror, 30 x 40 x 15cm.

During the past 30 years Peter Randall-Page has gained an international reputation through his sculpture drawings and prints. He has undertaken numerous large scale commissions and exhibited widely. A selection of his public sculptures can be found in many urban and rural locations throughout the UK including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge and his work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery and the British Museum amongst others.

Ironed Out I, 2009, cast iron, 24 x 16 x 19.5 cm, 8 kg.

Ironed Out I, 2009, cast iron, 24 x 16 x 19.5 cm, 8 kg.

Allegra Rose’s work is collaged based and includes photo, digital print as well as screen print.The uniqueness comes from oiling the layers so that translucency is achieved. Some of the pieces are bordered in antique pianola paper to complement the underlying music score. Allegra’s love of colour ranges from fluorescent to sepia tones and subject matter includes London with a nod towards the droll. Some of her work has been compared to Palimpsests.

Broken 'Art, 2013, oiled digital print on antique medical dictionary circa 1750, 58 x 43 cm.

Broken ‘Art, 2013, oiled digital print on antique medical dictionary circa 1750, 58 x 43 cm.

Catherine Shakespeare Lane’s work under the title Modern Archaeology is about collections of lost and found objects and images. Following in the tradition of artists such as Warhol, Blake, Hamilton and Paolozzi, CSL has used borrowed images in tandem with her own. From ruined and neglected places CSL finds her images and objects often affected by accident and the elements. PARTICLES is a scanned 35m transparency found barely protected by its glass and plastic mount.

Particles, 2008, mixed media, 61 x 40 cm.

Particles, 2008, mixed media,
61 x 40 cm.

Jake Tilson is an artist, designer and writer. A pioneer of early website design, including THE COOKER 1994, Tilson also founded the influential arts magazine ATLAS in 1984. His cookbook, A TALE OF 12 KITCHENS, won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award and was shortlisted for both the Andre Simon Award and the Glenfiddich Award. He has made shoe designs for Paul Smith and a work from his exhibition, A Net of Eels, was bought by the Tate Gallery Collection. His publications were praised by Vogue for being ‘crammed with messages, mementoes and visual clues to our culture, ephemera collaged into the spirit of the age, a map of its geography.’

Eel Spears, 2009, mixed media eel spears from England, Denmark and Long Island, H: 60 cm.

Eel Spears, 2009, mixed media eel spears from England, Denmark and Long Island, H: 60 cm.

Jessica Voorsanger explores the concept of celebrity within popular culture through obsession, fans, and media representation. She makes works in a variety of media ranging from painting to performance. The projects themselves often dictate the medium that is most appropriate.

Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc, 2007, velvet, beads and wire, 26 x 30.5 cm.

Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc, 2007, velvet, beads and wire, 26 x 30.5 cm.

Silvia Ziranek – With a history in text and textiles, I aim to address form, function, colour, humour, scale, personal politics, and a sense of the absurdity of normality. Best known for my bespoke performances, my most recent photographic works embrace a particular sense of perception combined with modern vintage design.

RUGWORK 7a, 2013, glazed frame, photograph, polypropylene rug, 46 x 46 cm.

RUGWORK 7a, 2013, glazed frame, photograph, polypropylene rug, 46 x 46 cm.

 

Special Event Wednesday 10 July, 7pm, promptly
Performance by Silvia Ziranek with a special appearance of the celebrated talents of the esteemed poet John James.

For more information about the exhibition or to arrange a viewing by appointment, please contact Sandra Higgins at sandra@sandrahiggins.com or info@discoverartnow.co.uk.

JEANNE MASOERO: Magnetic Fields

30 May – 22 June, 2013

Gallery Petit, Chelsea, London

SANDRA HIGGINS is delighted to bring an exciting exhibition of new work by Jeanne Masoero.

‘This latest work marks the culmination of a long process. One in which the many years of previous work can be seen as a long but coherent search, a process leading forward to a mature mastery of complex and deeply felt technique which develops my long-standing fascination with painting as a model of endlessness.’

Jeanne Masoero

‘Small dots of saturated colour – red and green – are clustered at the centre of the canvas as though held, like iron filings, by an invisible force. They fan out and infiltrate virgin territory as though travelling along valleys of fault lines. References to landscape are inescapable. Some constellations remind of satellite pictures of the earth’s surface – they have the same surreal beauty. Some resemble maps or charts, others suggest particles of free-floating energy. These paintings are the culmination of years of refining a personal vision.’

Sarah Kent, Art Critic

Magnetic Field VII, VIII, X (2011), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm each

Magnetic Field VII, VIII, X (2011), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm each

This is a matter of thorough and consistent attention; of tending and creating, Masoero’s work is detailed yet apparently simple, she makes a map or shroud that progresses in different directions to hold the white surface. The desire to paint something new and a constant adherence of a consistent idea arrives together each time with force.

Somehow while she creates the whole she is still discovering the direction it is to take. Masoero has said she paints because she does not know where she is to be taken. Producing an extended skin or skein of heightened illusory detail she is led, through sharp to feathery shallow detail, on a progression to places more coded than represented, where the urban and the natural converge. The artist lives through such a discovery of place in real time.

With work more apparently abstract than anything else, there is a sense of overview, a tradition of knowing, and yet not knowing what that might mean. Masoero’s recent paintings remain consistent to her own visual expectations and so at one level the work, a pure manifestation of excitement and hope, is for the artist herself. The paint goes off on a run, radiating from sometimes a more fixed centre and sometimes no centre at all. The pieces are for the artist reminiscent, rather than representative, of powerful place such as the Italian Alps, where buildings spotted from the plane grip the steep mountainside and radiate along ancient tracks.

Magnetic Field IX (diptych) 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

Magnetic Field IX (diptych) 2011, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100cm

The dot dash of build-up in a fixed range of touch, line and colour follows exactly the way things settle and set in and establish themselves on the very edge of terrain. But the use of ground is extraordinary, the detailed and even apparently mechanically applied paint mimics the dot dash of early print, of reproduction as well as when historical painting was itself turned into engraving.

The white is the unseen possibility, as are all things at the beginning. A natural tendency to go all over the canvas, to cover the ground, with the constant restricted palette, balances with a need to make visual sense. Masoero somehow changes her scale in relation to the surface. She works in a particular way, travelling consistently over the ground without the benefit of overview. We go from sensing what we might end up with, through the unseen methods of making in real time, to understanding that the notation makes up a visual language that can lead in, out and across. A roving eye mirrors the possibility of a mixture of information and sensuousness, of luxury and austerity. The artist is nothing but consistent, yet all this has little to do with morality, so much as a need to pursue a language that can function at a range of levels; a word in a story, perhaps, or the whole tune.

Text by Sacha Craddock, Art Critic and Writer

Masoero has exhibited extensively in the UK and throughout the world, including the Hayward Gallery, London; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; International Art Fair, Basel and as part of the Critics’ Choice – New British Art show at Christie’s, London. Her work can be found in public and private collections in the UK, Europe, America, Australia and Japan. She was awarded the Austrian Government Fellowship and was a tutor at the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and other art colleges.

For Masoero’s full biography: http://jeannemasoero.com/biography.html

For more information about the exhibition or to arrange a viewing by appointment, please contact Sandra Higgins at sandra@sandrahiggins.com or info@discoverartnow.co.uk.

DAVID FERRY: Desirable Ridge Intrusions

25 April – 17 May, 2013

Gallery Petit, Chelsea, London

SANDRA HIGGINS is delighted to be collaborating with the NATIONAL PRINT GALLERY to bring an exciting exhibition of new work by David Ferry.

The title of the exhibition refers to a suite of ten unique new montages with mixed media, that form the centrepiece of this exhibition.  The evocative images appear to transport the viewer to a mountain idyll – we could be in the Alps, a cosy world of log cabins and meadows carpeted with wild flowers.  Ferry suggests the mood: “Here the fragrances of timeworn wood mingles with the fresh air: the cabin’s door beckons a delight of outdoor pleasures; I am consumed with the resonance of nature ” and then brings us back to earth with a bump, as he elaborates further: “within earshot of the council car park”, for this is no Swiss paradise, but closer to Shangri-La, a fictional mountain kingdom designed to feed our fantasies. Are we really breathing heady mountain air or just experiencing an ersatz version deftly created by idealised images from 1960s tourist brochures and postcards?

Ridge Intrusion 2, 2011-2013, acrylic stencil, photomontage and pastel on paper mounted on board

Ridge Intrusion 2, 2011-2013, acrylic stencil, photomontage and pastel on paper mounted on board

Soft focus images of idealised mountain views and flora are deftly contained within a hard-edged rectilinear grid, which reflects the tenets of modernism.  Bright pastel squares and rectangles accentuate and mimic the attenuated colours of the montage images to create an ironic take on a Mondrian composition.  Flowers are displayed as if specimens in cases – Ferry suggests, “we could be looking at an act of post apocalyptic restructure of a pastoral scene that no longer exists.”  Mists of paint are sparingly sprayed, sometimes through stencils, to complete the impression that this is no real sojourn in the hills, but a take on scenic vistas created by a Hollywood technician, channelling more “The Sound of Music” than classic landscapes.

Ridge Intrusion 1, 2011-2013, acrylic stencil, photomontage and pastel on paper mounted on board

Ridge Intrusion 1, 2011-2013, acrylic stencil, photomontage and pastel on paper mounted on board

Ferry is no stranger to sophisticated manipulation of existing images: his witty and ambiguous work creates a very individual footprint in contemporary art, and bears witness to the influences of John Heartfield and the classic photomontage tradition. He is particularly fond of picture guides from the innocent post war years of the 1950’s and 1960’s, which he expertly subverts using highly selected donor material. A previous example was his  “Aquariums in Country Houses in Colour” whose 28 colour plates Ferry defiled with piscine interlopers.  (This unique book was purchased by The National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, for their permanent collection, in 2011.)  Ferry explains, “The search for donor material is part of the process of creative recycling, adding a new ingredient, a cycle of change and appropriation”.  A selection of other works by the artist, including unique books and editioned prints will be included in the exhibition.

Ridge Intrusion 9, 2011-2013, acrylic stencil, photomontage and pastel on paper mounted on board

Ridge Intrusion 9, 2011-2013, acrylic stencil, photomontage and pastel on paper mounted on board

Ferry has exhibited extensively in the UK and throughout the world, including solo exhibitions in Berlin, New York, Poznan and Seoul.  His work can be found in public and corporate collections including Museum of Modern Art, New York; Ashmolean, Oxford; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, National Museum of Wales, Ginsberg collection of Artists Books, Johannesburg, Cardiff and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He is a past recipient of a Pollock / Krasner major award, and a new seat as Professor of Printmaking and Book Arts was created for him at the Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter – Printmakers, RE.

For more information about the exhibition or to arrange a viewing by appointment, please contact Sandra Higgins at sandra@sandrahiggins.com or info@discoverartnow.co.uk.

Vantage Point – An Exhibition of work by Dan Llywelyn Hall

Dan Llywelyn Hall, Plantation in Red (2009), acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40.5 cm

Dan Llywelyn Hall, Plantation in Red (2009), acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40.5 cm

Sandra Higgins is delighted to present an exhibition of landscape paintings by Welsh artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall.

Llywelyn Hall graduated from the University of Westminster in 2003 and in the same year was awarded The Sunday Times Young Artist of the Year prize. Subsequently, he was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2009 and since then has continued to attract collectors from a variety of museums, public institutions, corporations as well as private individuals. Llywelyn Hall’s portraits of First World War veterans Henry Allingham and Harry Patch were recently displayed at Windsor Castle and are now a permanent feature in the Royal Collection. The Cardiff born artist also currently has work on display at the National Gallery of Wales, the Imperial War Museum (London), the House of Lords, BT’s corporate collection, Barclays’ corporate collection, the Museum of Modern Art Wales and the Contemporary Art Society of Wales.

Dan Llywelyn Hall in his studio

Dan Llywelyn Hall in his studio

Despite exploring a variety of genres, Dan Llywelyn Hall’s work displays a keen interest in landscape painting.

His approach towards landscape painting is a crossover between two great traditions: boldly painted surfaces combine the Romantics’ attempt to embody human feeling and thought with the Expressionists’ raw quality of a form, and sense of immediacy. Llywelyn Hall takes the nostalgic vision of landscape painting and rejuvenates it with a free use of colour. In this way, he creates a new and authentic genre, making a significant contribution to the recent revival of landscape painting in Britain. His work owes much to the legacies of William Blake and Samuel Palmer, along with the Neo- Romantics of the 1940s such as John Piper, Michael Ayrton and Llywelyn Hall’s compatriot, David Jones. Agitated brushwork and simplified ornaments also expose the formative influences of Chaim Soutine and Henri Matisse.

Landscape creates the theatre, the set, for much more crucial things. But these days it has had such bad press – as a genre it’s mistreated by contemporary art. You can’t really make it ironic, and that’s its drawback for contemporary art galleries… [to me] irony is for people who haven’t got any backbone, who are afraid of putting their emotions into the work. I think you’ve got to be very brave if you’re going to make something that is heartfelt and meaningful, you’ve got to be prepared to put yourself on the line. That’s absolutely essential.

Dan Llywelyn Hall in conversation with Andrew Lambirth, THE SPECTATOR

Mystical, spiritual and sublime in character, the beauty of Llywelyn Hall’s landscapes evokes in us a sense of passing time and our own mortality. While the starting point for his images are concrete locations, Llywelyn Hall confronts the viewer with worlds infused with his own personal response, shaped by his feelings and moods. As the personal aspect is given a priority over an objective depiction, the resulting imaginative scenes invite an inward contemplation on the viewer’s part. Lost in the winding paths leading towards the furthermost horizons, a recurring motif in Llywelyn Hall’s work, the spectator is captivated within the haunting landscapes.

Dan Llywelyn Hall, The Caves (2007) oil on canvas, 50 x 75 cm

Dan Llywelyn Hall, The Caves (2007) oil on canvas, 50 x 75 cm

Dan Llywelyn Hall follows a tradition which first flourished amid the dreams of the Romantics. He is part of that visionary lineage of painters for whom landscape became an embodiment of human feeling [… yet] his paintings work to conjure a fresh, idiosyncratic and fundamentally modern mood.

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, THE TIMES

A collection of Llywelyn Hall’s landscape works will be on show at my Gallery Petit in Chelsea.

The exhibition will run from Thursday 21st March to Friday 12th April. The artist will also be giving a talk with his personal reflections on painting the Queen.

For more information about the exhibition, artist’s talk, or to arrange a viewing by appointment, contact Sandra Higgins at sandra@sandrahiggins.com or info@discoverartnow.co.uk

BREON O’CASEY: Paintings and Sculptures 19th February – 9th March

‘It is the tool which gives the texture, not me. And that gives the character which only a hand-crafted piece has.’

Breon O’Casey

Sandra Higgins is delighted to be collaborating with the Stoneman Gallery to bring an exciting exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Breon O’Casey.  This intimate show at Sandra’s Gallery Petit salon in Chelsea will showcase an exclusive selection of works previously unseen in London.

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Slugs & Plants, 2011, acrylic on board

Born and raised in London, Breon O’Casey studied at the Anglo-French Art Centre in London, where teaching focused heavily on Matisse, Braque and Miró. He moved to St. Ives in Cornwall in 1959, after seeing a film about Alfred Wallis, the British primitive painter. There he worked for and alongside such leading lights as Barbara Hepworth, Denis Mitchell, Ben Nicholson and Bernard Leach.

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Breon O’Casey in his studio

The son of the playwright Seán O’Casey and actress Eileen O’Casey, Breon was a versatile and poetic artist, gaining success in a wide range of media. Throughout his career, he has been included in a number of important exhibitions in the UK and abroad: beginning with a solo show at Somerville College, Oxford in 1954, to the Tate Gallery in St Ives and the Lemon Street Gallery in Cornwall. Until his death in May 2011, he was one of the last living artists from the influential St. Ives School of Painters and Sculptors.

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Yellow Centre, 2008, acrylic on board

Internationally acclaimed for his jewellery and weaving, O’ Casey eventually concentrated more on sculpture and painting. His approach to seeing and making art was both poetic and simple, with a philosophy that was rooted in the past and a fascination with ancient and non-Western art. His work, often referencing a bird motif and other signifiers, paid homage to the work of George Braque. In addition, the primitive style of some of his sculpture echoes the Celtic mood of Cornwall. Re-engaging with his Irish roots towards the end of his life, he spent some time in County Mayo painting abstract landscapes.

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Bowl Bird, bronze

It has been a pleasure to work with the Breon O’Casey estate in putting together this wonderful collection of paintings and sculpture.

For more information, or to arrange a viewing by appointment, contact:

sandra@sandrahiggins.com or info@discoverartnow.co.uk

Why You Should Discover Colombian Art Now?

‘It is an art scene which has not yet reached critical mass but it’s growing and there is a strong momentum.’

           Hans Ulrich Obrist, Curator and Co-Director at the Serpentine Gallery

Colombia may not often be thought of as a destination for contemporary art lovers. However, since Obrist paid his first visit to the country in 2010, several top curators followed his example, among them Klaus Biesenbach, of New York’s MoMA PS1, and Jens Hoffmann, of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. Subsequently, in January 2012 Tate appointed the Colombian curator José Roca to both supervise Tate’s acquisitions of art from Latin America and facilitate the development of relationships Tate has within the region. As the result of these endeavors, Colombian artists work in a context increasingly exposed to the international art world through the proliferation of art fairs, biennials, and museums. Yet still there are layers and layers of undiscovered artists whose work I seek to bring to your attention via this blog but also in exhibitions at the Gallery Petit later in 2013.

As the Colombian contemporary art scene is divided between the two magnificent cities – Bogotá and Cartagena de Indias, I decided to visit both of them this month. The art adventure started in the beautiful Cartagena where I joined Ofelia Rodriguez, my dear friend whom I have represented for many years. The photo below shows my host in the courtyard of her wonderful house.

Ofelia Rodriquez

Ofelia Rodriquez

Despite Bogotá’s incredible cultural infrastructure encompassing over 58 museums and dozens of art galleries, Cartagena is an up and coming destination for contemporary art to rival the capital. Hay Festival, which I attended two weeks ago, is one of the cultural events that fuels Cartagena’s vibrant cultural scene. Currently in its eighth year, the festival has become the number one literary event in the Hispanic world. Although the focus is on literature, the festival’s cultural significance is much broader as it also functions as a platform for visual arts, cinema and music with a considerable attention devoted to geopolitics, journalism and environmental issues. To better understand how this eclectic mix works together, have a look at the Cartagena’s communal bottle recycling bin below. Attractive design caring quote by Victor Hugo as literary reference with environmental message: an unlikely but well-matched combination!

Bottle recycling Cartagena style

Bottle recycling Cartagena style

But back to high art: apart from the Hay festival, I have also attended a show of Ofelia Rodriquez at a gallery called Art Cartagena. The gallery space, located in a charming ancient building in the Historic Centre of Cartagena and run by Norma Uparela, carries work by some of the best artists from the city. Interestingly, Norma’s gallery is at her home – a very similar venue to my Salon exhibitions. Below Norma and Ofelia showing her work followed by a photo of the gallery space.

Norma Uparela and Ofelia Rodriquez

Norma Uparela and Ofelia Rodriquez

Art Cartagena

Art Cartagena

Thanks to my host in Bogotá, Guillermo Londoño, I managed to visit many artists’ studios and acquaint myself with the very best that is on offer there at the moment. Born in Bogotá, Guillermo is himself an integral part of this vibrant art scene. Below the artist in his studio.

Guillermo Londoño

Guillermo Londoño

Bogotá is a lively and beautiful city with many talented emerging artists who aspire to achieve the status of their internationally acclaimed compatriots such as Fernando Botero and Doris Salcedo. Indeed, Botero is still omnipresent in the city that he loves, as is Salcedo: below are images of the former public statue and the latter’s work at the Banco de Republica Collection in Bogotá.

Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero

Doris Salcedo

Doris Salcedo

After Botero and Salcedo, Miler Lagos is in a good position to become another internationally acclaimed Colombian artist since his paper constructions below are soon to be shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Miler Lagos

Miler Lagos

Other wonderful talents emerging in Bogotá now, who I had the pleasure of meeting, are Anna Maria Rueda, Nohemi Perez, Saul Sanchez and Rodrigo Echeverri. Check out their exciting work below!

Anna Maria Rueda

Anna Maria Rueda

Nohemi Perez

Saul Sanchez

Saul Sanchez

Rodrigo Echeverri

Rodrigo Echeverri

DISCOVER ART NOW Group Show

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While I am searching for promising new artists in Colombia, you can still check out the group show at the GALLERY PETIT in London featuring works of ESTABLISHED INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS: Alice Sielle, Andrelis-Rye, Anne Smith, Barrie Cook, David Ferry, Graham Boyd, Helen O’Keefe, Nina Dolan, Ofelia Rodriguez, Patricia Poullain and Richard Walker.

For more information and to arrange a viewing please contact my charming assistants: Tatiana (tatiana@discoverartnow.co.uk) and Jen (jennyfer@discoverartno

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Helen O’Keefe, Birthday Flowers, Collage background and painting on plexiglass with acrylic and varnish, 50 x 70 cm.