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London Art Fair - January 2017

10 January 2017

Paisnel Gallery at London Art Fair

The eagerly anticipated London Art Fair (January 18-22) is always a tremendous opportunity for Paisnel Gallery to exhibit the breadth and quality of our catalogue, revealing work both surprisingly affordable and immediately collectable, exploring Modern Masters and fresh new talent alike.

From artists operating in the immediate aftermath of World War II, through to some stunning examples from the St Ives movement and right up to pieces from 2016, the gallery has gathered some of the best in 20th century and contemporary British art for the genre’s premier fair.

We  will be exhibiting in three distinct sections at LAF: St Ives, Post War and Contemporary. Here are some brief highlights of the work on display - for more information and a full list please ask for our London Art Fair Catalogue.

St Ives

Paisnel Gallery has always specialised in work emanating from the famous Cornish coastal town which, from the 1940s onwards, became synonymous with modern and abstract art.

From Trevor Bell’s acclaimed body of work comes Red, Black And Intensities, his 1959 piece which confirmed him at the time as one of Britain’s best young non-figurative painters.

From the same year there are  two more fascinating pieces: John Tunnard’s modernist Night Shift revealed him to be a skilled master in  gouache, while Alan Davie’s Idea For A Fish reflects a period of great fruitfulness for the free-spirited artist. 

Moving forward five years, but retaining Davie’s cheery approach to abstraction, Paisnel Gallery  is also delighted to present Terry Frost’s boldly colourful Chevrons For Compton.


Post War

One of the joys of Post War British art is that it’s not limited to a narrow time period or indeed style, and there’s an intriguing comparison to be made with William Gear’s Composition 1947 and John Hoyland’s similarly-titled Composition 1980, both of which have a fluid attitude to shape and abstraction, while using very different colour palettes.  

And differences in technique are also marked in the work of John Bratby and Bernard Cohen. Bratby’s still life Red Boots (1954) characterise his “kitchen sink” painting, and if it seems a long way from there to Cohen’s intensely physical abstract work, Style 1 (1963), then that’s the whole point of Post War British Art.

Staying in the 1950s, it’s always a pleasure to be associated with Robyn Denny, and Red Beat 1, Red Beat 2 and Red Beat 3 (1958), named after Beat Generation authors such as Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, are emblematic of the energy and modern mood of the time.

Meanwhile, the gallery’s  long relationship with the estate of John Plumb continues with four pieces at the London Art Fair. In the week that Donald Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States, Plumb’s political Homage To John F Kennedy (1963), with its torn American flag, feels as relevant as ever.

Other highlights in the Post War section include two works from neo-romantic artist Graham Sutherland and a number of pieces from abstract expressionist pioneer Frank Avray Wilson. Red Explosive (1960) is aptly named.

Contemporary

Paisnel Gallery also supports the work of contemporary artists, and it’s a great pleasure to introduce four vibrant deconstructed landscapes by Leigh Davis produced last year.

And fresh from his Paisnel Gallery exhibition in autumn 2016, we also have one of the most dramatic pieces from Jeremy Gardiner’s Pillars Of Light series investigating British lighthouses and coastlines. Scarlet Fields, The Lizard Lighthouse, Cornwall (2016) sees semi-abstract landscape painter Gardiner at his layered best.

Paisnel Gallery is at Stand 40 at London Art Fair.

http://www.londonartfair.co.uk/galleries/paisnel-gallery/

 

 

London Art Fair - January 2017

John Plumb - Blenheim

London Art Fair - January 2017

John Plumb - Osterley

December View

2 December 2016

Three iconic works from the late Robyn Denny are currently taking pride of place at Paisnel Gallery as we round off an exciting year for the gallery in some style. Named after the Beat Generation authors such as Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac who were a huge influence to the Surrey-born abstract artist, Red Beat 1, Red Beat 2 and Red Beat 3 are not only emblematic of the energy and modern mood of the late 1950s but a key marker in the development of one of 20th Century British art’s finest talents.

 

The Red Beat series of six oils on canvas represented an incredibly formative time for Denny. He had just left the Royal College of Art and was working towards his first solo exhibition at the influential avant-garde gallery, Gimpel Fils, in 1958. It was at this exhibition where one work from the Red Beat series became his first sale to a museum, an important step in a journey which would eventually lead to a 1973 Tate retrospective. At the time of the Tate celebration of his work he was the youngest artist ever to receive such an accolade at just forty two, and the museum’s high regard of Denny remains undiminished: they have over eighty  of his artworks.

 

Red Beat 2 and Red Beat 3 featured in that 1973 retrospective, underlining the importance of this series to the understanding of an artist who sits firmly alongside Bridget Riley, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin and Peter Blake as a radical who could appeal to the masses. Just a year later, for example, he would receive a mural commission from  the Regent Street store Austin Reed - which would go on to form the backdrop to a famous Beatles photo shoot. And in the Red Beat paintings the same non-conformist attitude he admired so greatly in counter-cultural America, shines through in spectacular, colourful expressions of creative freedom.

 

“Each piece radiates jewel-like colour and a textural richness,” says Stephen Paisnel. “They are three wonderful works from a private collection, which are not only crucial to understanding the brilliance of Robyn Denny but his importance to 20th century British Art. He was one of the very first British artists to explore American abstract expressionism, and these paintings show just how groundbreaking he was in the late 1950s. We are delighted to have them.”

December View

Red Beat 1 (framed 57 x 67 cms)

December View

Red Beat 2 (framed 57 x 67 cms)

October View

26 October 2016

Paisnel Gallery is delighted to present two sought-after works from one of 20th century art’s genuine free spirits, Alan Davie.

 

Davie was as happy painting as he was designing jewellery. His love of jazz and poetry was as crucial to his work as his interest in mysticism and lost civilisations, and all of these concerns come together in Idea for A Fish (1959) and Flag Walk (1974). The fact that the medium in these pieces is so different - Idea For A Fish is an oil on paper, while Flag Walk is a wool pile tapestry - merely confirms how inquisitive, improvisational and inventive Davie was over a long and fruitful career.

 

Idea for A Fish (1959) is symptomatic of a time when Davie was enjoying immense commercial and critical success - he had just enjoyed his first major retrospective at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery and was beginning to have a major influence on a young David Hockney. Using the bold colours and shapes which would resurface the following year in one of Davie’s most celebrated paintings, Patrick’s Delight, there’s exhilarating freedom to the composition as the Scot revels in the possibilities of colour.

 

That same ambition, to explore the boundaries of colour, shape and even art itself, was still apparent 15 years later. A wool pile tapestry inspired by Davie’s visits to the Caribbean, the bold geometric forms on the deep red background of Flag Walk (1974) are a clear nod to the ancient rock carvings found on the island he loved to visit, St Lucia. Absolutely devoid of pretension, it’s a joyful arrangement of recognisably prehistoric shapes, childlike in the very best, intuitive sense.

 

It’s no surprise to learn that another example of Flag Walk is displayed at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, chosen by the British Government to represent and explore broadly South American themes through art. It’s Alan Davie’s work in microcosm: unselfish, expressive, unburdened by convention and, literally, visionary.

 

“Alan Davie is one of our most popular artists, and we’re always delighted by the work that comes to us,” says Stephen Paisnel. “You can really feel the joyous and spontaneous nature of his character in these two pieces - there’s a fantastic exuberance to them.”

 

Idea for a Fish (1959)

oil on paper laid on board

43 x 53 cm (17 x 21 ins)

Framed size: 64 x 74 cm (25 x 29 ins)

signed and dated 1959

titled verso

 

Flag Walk (1974)

Wool pile tapestry

208 x 279 cm (82 x 110 ins)

with woven signature

signed & numbered 14 from an edition of 21 (label verso)

 

October View

Flag Walk

October View

Idea for a Fish

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

7 October 2016

Standing in front of one of his favourite paintings in his current Paisnel Gallery exhibition, Pillars of Light, Jeremy Gardiner told some of those gathered around his magisterial work Sunrise, St Ives, Cornwall that there was something incredibly evocative about lighthouses - not just the structures themselves but the ever-changing coastal landscapes of which they are a part. And his powerful depictions of the dramatic south-west coastline have certainly struck a chord: many of his 36 paintings at Paisnel Gallery have now sold.

And as the Pillars of Light exhibition enters its final week, Stephen Paisnel is in no doubt why Gardiner’s show has proved so successful. “It is an astonishing body of work, and as soon as we saw it come together at Paisnel Gallery, we knew that it would cement Jeremy’s position as one of the great ambassadors of contemporary landscape painting,” he says. “The paintings are fascinating, not just in terms of his sophisticated technique, but in the way they explore history, geology and humankind’s struggle with elements.

“I’d urge people to come to the gallery in the final week of the exhibition and experience this engaging work for themselves. There are still some superb works available.”

These include the stunning Sunrise, St Ives, in which the early morning light seems to roll in like a wave over a Cornish town which has become so synonymous with contemporary British art. Further up the north Cornwall coast, Gardiner’s two paintings of Trevose Head, Against The Light and Summer Tide, are tremendous examples of how Gardiner renders the same scene in dramatically opposing ways given the changes in light and mood.

Meanwhile, Autumn Evening, Hawthorn Bush, Anvil Point Lighthouse, Dorset and Light Above The Sea, St Catherine’s Lighthouse, Isle of Wight are wonderfully subtle examples of Gardiner’s commitment to making the lighthouse a part of his paintings rather than the overbearing point of them.

As Jeremy Gardiner says himself: “In all the pictures in Pillars of Light I’m trying to capture just one mood, to convey the experience and atmosphere of being in a landscape at a particular time.”

Pillars of Light is at Paisnel Gallery until Friday 14 October. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm, with Saturday and late viewings by appointment.

For more information on the Jeremy Gardiner exhibition please e-mail info@paisnelgallery.co.uk or call us on 020 7930 9293

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

27 September 2016

A Coastal Walk with Jeremy Gardiner: Exploring Pillars of Light

Our eagerly-awaited Jeremy Gardiner exhibition around the theme of the lighthouse, Pillars of Light, opens tomorrow. For this intriguing show, thirty six paintings of rare power and insight explore the dramatic south-west coastline of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, travelling from the islands of Lundy to Godrevy and on to the Isle of Wight.

In the run-up to the show, we’ve been talking to Jeremy about works from each of the places to which the Bath-based artist travelled for this series. Jeremy is a fascinating artist, and has plenty to say about how the combination of memory, place, geology, architecture and history come together in his evocative paintings. 

Our final stop on the journey is the Isle of Wight. 

Pale Cliffs, The Needles Lighthouse, Isle of Wight

12 x 24 ins (30.5 x 61 cms)

Cat 34

Above The Ridge, The Needles Lighthouse, Isle of Wight

18 x 24 ins (46 x 61 cms)

Cat 36

The Needles is one of those classic lighthouses with red and white bands, which actually means it’s very difficult to paint without it turning into something cheesy.

So in both these works, the lighthouse is part of the landscape of the painting rather than being its focal point. I chose instead to reflect the red stripes of the lighthouse elsewhere in the painting, particularly in Above The Ridge - so the bands of red become part of the structure of the landscape.

The Needles are an incredible subject and important for me, as the chalk ridge once led all the way to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. Geologically it’s interesting too, as this ridge used to connect the Isle of Wight to the mainland.

When I can, I like to travel around the coast on the PS Waverley, the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. I took a trip around the Isle of Wight on the Waverley, and so that’s why Pale Cliffs is painted from the sea. 

Jeremy Gardiner: Pillars Of Light

September 28 to October 14 2016

10am to 6pm Monday to Friday 

Paisnel Gallery, 9 Bury Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6AB

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

 

 

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

26 September 2016

A Coastal Walk with Jeremy Gardiner: Exploring Pillars of Light

Our eagerly-awaited Jeremy Gardiner exhibition around the theme of the lighthouse, Pillars of Light, opens on Wednesday. For this intriguing show, thirty six paintings of rare power and insight explore the dramatic south-west coastline of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, travelling from the islands of Lundy to Godrevy and on to the Isle of Wight.

In the run-up to the show, we’ve been talking to Jeremy about works from each of the places to which the Bath-based artist travelled for this series. Jeremy is a fascinating artist, and has plenty to say about how the combination of memory, place, geology, architecture and history come together in his evocative paintings.

Today we journey to a county and lighthouse very close to his heart: Anvil Point, Dorset.

Autumn Evening, Hawthorn Bush, Anvil Point Lighthouse, Dorset

24 x 48ins (61 x 122 cms)

Cat 31

Turquoise Sea, Anvil Point Lighthouse, Dorset

24 x 36 ins (61  x 91.5 cms)

Cat 32

“Anvil Point is a very short, stumpy lighthouse, only about 12 metres tall, and it has keepers’ cottages next to it, which would have housed three families. You can see a large stone wall, which was for their vegetable gardens.

This lighthouse has a relatively small lens - the original is actually in the Science Museum -and the light from it gives a clear line from Portland Bill in the west, guiding ships away from the three mile reef off Hengistbury Head and into the Solent. So it covers a very large area.

As a child, I’d lie in bed in my grandmother’s house listening to the foghorn. You’d know then that the whole of the coast would be shrouded in thick fog - it was such an evocative sound. The lighthouse was illuminated by a paraffin vapour burner and it was only in the 1960s that it was modernised to an electric light. Until then, the men running that lighthouse would have had to make sure it was constantly on - which was quite dangerous work. So I’ve got a lot of nostalgic memories about Anvil Point: I remember collecting glow-worms in a bottle there, which was like having a 20watt bulb in your hand. Kind of magical.

In Turquoise Sea, the lighthouse has a black background, and walking that stretch of coastline, you get weather systems where the sky suddenly turns a charcoal grey. That’s when features in the landscape really stand out - they’re like a flashbulb going off.

I think that’s one of the reasons artists are drawn to coastal landscapes. They’re never the same - they’re always changing. Depending on the weather or the season, the whole landscape is different because of the light. The atmosphere changes, too, which is why lighthouses are such a fascinating subject.

In all the pictures in Pillars of Light I’m having a shot at capturing just one mood, to convey the experience of being in a landscape at a particular time. But it’s not like a photograph. I’m trying to embed lots of elements in the pictures, which is why they’re layered so much. It’s more like a multiple exposure”.

Next time: Isle Of Wight

Jeremy Gardiner: Pillars of Light

September 28 to October 14 2016

10am to 6pm Monday to Friday 

Paisnel Gallery, 9 Bury Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6AB

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

 

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

23 September 2016

 A Coastal Walk with Jeremy Gardiner: Exploring Pillars Of Light

Our eagerly-awaited Jeremy Gardiner exhibition around the theme of the lighthouse, Pillars of Light, opens on Wednesday 28 September. For this intriguing show, thirty six paintings of rare power and insight explore the dramatic south-west coastline of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, travelling from the islands of Lundy to Godrevy and on to the Isle of Wight.

In the run-up to the show, we’ve been talking to Jeremy about works from each of the places to which the Bath-based artist travelled for this series. Jeremy is a fascinating artist, and has plenty to say about how the combination of memory, place, geology, architecture and history come together in his evocative paintings.

We started with his trip to Cornwall, and then travelled east, to Bull Point, Devon. Today, Jeremy boards the MS Oldenburg to Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, to paint its lighthouses.

Turquoise Harbour, Lundy South Lighthouse

24 x 48ins (61 x 122 cms)

Cat 2

The Colour of the Days, Lundy South Lighthouse

24 x 36 ins (61  x 91.5 cms)

Cat 7

“I enjoyed exploring the north end of Lundy, and there are three paintings in Pillars of Light of Lundy North Lighthouse (Cat 1, 3, 6). The south end also has the quay - and it became a source of real fascination for me. It’s also the first time I’ve got to grips with painting a ship!

If you look at Turquoise Harbour or The Colour of the Days, you can see the MS Oldenburg. This ferry is as important an element to me - and Lundy itself - as the lighthouses, really: the majority of people and all the farming machinery and so on, disembark and leave on this boat. Although you can see a circle on Turquoise Harbour by the lantern room of the lighthouse - that’s a helicopter landing pad.

The first time I tried to go to Lundy I had to cancel the journey, because the weather was against me. So I waited a year before I went back on the boat - that’s why the MS Oldenburg is so important to the painting, because it was so key to my journey and experience, and the keen sense of arrival and departure I felt on the island.

There are actually three lighthouses on Lundy - the first was built in the middle of the island, because they could get away with just one. But the mist was so dense that no ships could see it, so they abandoned that one - which I sat in during my visit, and built one at each end”.

You can watch the documentary video which accompanies the exhibition at http://bit.ly/29L78PM

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

Next time: Anvil Point, Dorset.

Jeremy Gardiner: Pillars of Light

September 28 to October 14 2016

10am to 6pm Monday to Friday 

Paisnel Gallery, 9 Bury Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6AB

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

Turquoise Harbour, Lundy South Lighthouse

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

The Colour of the Days, Lundy South Lighthouse

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

21 September 2016

 A Coastal Walk with Jeremy Gardiner: Exploring Pillars Of Light

Our eagerly-awaited Jeremy Gardiner exhibition around the theme of the lighthouse, Pillars of Light, opens on Wednesday 28 September. In this intriguing show, thirty six paintings of rare power and insight, explore the dramatic south-west coastline of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, travelling from the islands of Lundy to Godrevy and on to the Isle of Wight.

In the build up to the show, we’ve been talking to Jeremy about works from each of the counties to which the Bath-based artist travelled. Jeremy is a fascinating artist, and has plenty to say about how the combination of memory, place, geology, architecture and history come together in his evocative paintings.

We started on Monday with his trip to Cornwall, and today we move further east, to Bull Point in North Devon.

Summertime, Bull Point Lighthouse, Devon

18 x 24 ins (46 x 61 cms)

Cat 10

"Anyone familiar with this part of the world might look at this painting and think “hang on, how did he put his easel up in the middle of the ocean?” But I was actually on my way to Lundy to paint its lighthouses and I made some drawings on the MS Oldenburg ferry from Ilfracombe.

Bull Point is a squat, modern lighthouse rather than a quintessentially romantic Victorian edifice - it was built in 1974 after the headland on which the original lighthouse stood subsided. But in terms of being a minimal intrusion in the geology of the landscape, perched on a clifftop, I really enjoyed it as a subject.

Everyone’s familiar with those cheesy pictures of lighthouses where beams of light arc across the ocean - incidentally, you only ever see that phenomenon when there’s a mist. I never wanted to be so overt, but I hint at the beams of projected light all the time through the shapes in the paintings.

The right hand side of Summertime has an expanse of slate-like black shapes: at Bull Point, the ridge of land that runs underneath the lighthouse is Morte Slate Rocks. Morte deriving from death. And when you look at these rocks from the land side, they’re like grey shards sticking up like knives into the air. If they’re wet, they have this incredible silver sheen to them. It’s a terrifying thing to look at, and you start to realise why they built the lighthouse there.

That’s what I like about this painting: there’s this notion of a lovely summer’s day with the delicate rose pinks and oranges, but it’s juxtaposed with this very dangerous geological formation, hinted at in the textures and shapes.

Actually, I think it’s one of my most successful pictures".

You can watch the documentary video which accompanies the exhibition at http://bit.ly/29L78PM

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

Next time: Turquoise Harbour, Lundy South Lighthouse

Jeremy Gardiner: Pillars Of Light

September 28 to October 14 2016

10am to 6pm Monday to Friday 

Paisnel Gallery, 9 Bury Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6AB

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

 

 

Jeremy Gardiner - Pillars of Light

19 September 2016

A Coastal Walk with Jeremy Gardiner: Exploring Pillars Of Light

Our eagerly-awaited Jeremy Gardiner exhibition around the theme of the lighthouse, Pillars of Light, opens on Wednesday 28 September. In this intriguing show, thirty six  paintings of rare power and insight, explore the dramatic south-west coastline of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, travelling from the islands of Lundy to Godrevy and on to the Isle of Wight.

In the run-up to the show, we’ll be talking to Jeremy about works from each of the counties to which the Bath-based artist travelled for this series. Jeremy is a fascinating artist, and has plenty to say about how the combination of memory, place, geology, architecture and history come together in his evocative paintings.

We start with his trip to Cornwall, and perhaps aptly given its artistic heritage, St.Ives.

Cat 18  Sunrise, St  Ives, Cornwall

24 x 48ins (61 x 122 cms)

Cat 17 Winter Morning, St Ives Harbour, Cornwall

24 x 36 ins (61 x 91.5 cms)

“Whenever we go down to Cornwall, we stay in a little B&B in St Ives, and these two pictures are the view from the window of its tiny little top floor room. We get up really early when we’re down there, and although the sunrise is dramatised in this painting, in the morning the light does unfold in a quite wonderful way across the rooftops.

Sunrise is a large painting which I hope works on two levels. At a distance you get this incredible blast of morning light, rolling in like a wave and casting its shadows. And then when you stand in front of the picture you can focus on the tiny details, like the windows in St Ives church. Right at the front of the picture you have net curtains being drawn - the lights have gone on in the house.

That’s what’s fascinating about the view and what attracted other artists in the past, such as Ben Nicolson, Peter Lanyon and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, to draw it. There’s this incredible avalanche of shapes, the expanse of sea, and in my paintings the two tiny lighthouses on Seaton’s Pier and Godrevy Island, separated from the architecture of the town.

Although lighthouses are obviously important to this exhibition, they’re a very minimal presence in these paintings. It’s actually quite difficult to spot Godrevy: it’s just a white speck sitting on the island. But actually, what made me interested in lighthouses in the first place were some paintings I did a few years ago where lighthouses seemed to show up without me really looking at them: we think of lighthouses as huge, dominant structures but they can also be discreet shapes in a wide landscape”.

You can watch the documentary video which accompanies the exhibition at http://bit.ly/29L78PM

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

Next time: Bull Point Lighthouse, Devon

Jeremy Gardiner: Pillars of Light

September 28 to October 14 2016

10am to 6pm Monday to Friday 

Paisnel Gallery, 9 Bury Street, St James's, London, SW1Y 6AB

www.paisnelgallery.co.uk

Summer Exhibition - Nine by Three

28 July 2016

 

For this summer’s exhibition we are showcasing nine works by each of three contemporary artists closely involved with the gallery.

On view from Thursday 28 July - Thursday 11 August

 

Leigh Davis presents evocative landscapes inspired by the Isles of Scilly, the Gower Peninsula and rural Shropshire.  His progression through ceramics and silver and then painting show a full understanding of form and colour.

 

Tim Woolcock has already enjoyed a highly successful career exhibiting at the Russell Gallery, London and Jorgensen Fine Art in Dublin.  His painting pursues two distinct elements; the pure geometric compositions referencing Constructivism and the more gritty and weathered surfaces of his urban series. 

 

Richard Fox continues his tradition of exploring the interaction between structure and space, producing sculptures of elegance and poise.  The two mediums of wood and bronze each present a different perspective of density versus delicacy.

 

 

Browns London Art Weekend 2nd and 3rd July

2 July 2016

2nd and 3rd July

Jeremy Gardiner – Preview  of our forthcoming  exhibition of this contemporary artist’s work centred around the theme of lighthouses.  The artist has chosen sixteen lighthouses in the counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset together with  the Isle of Wight, Lundy Island and Godrevy. On view will be  a group of the  framed paintings from the exhibition together with a very interesting 16 minute documentary film, which shows the landscapes and the artist at work. 

email the Gallery for Exhibition details: info@paisnelgallery.co.uk

Pillars of Light (film) and talk by Jeremy Gardiner together with preview of his forthcoming exhibition: Saturday 2nd July at 12 noon and 3pm.

 

John Plumb – Following the success of the John Plumb Retrospective Exhibition  at our gallery in June 2015, we have chosen nine Colour Field paintings from 1966 to illustrate this remarkable artist’s capability with saturated hue. The seemingly invariant surfaces are actually very complex and express a yearning for transcendence and the illusion of infinity. Emotionally charged and possessing an almost Zen-like purity, these paintings reference the movement that included international artists such as Rothko and Barnet Newman (with whom Plumb exhibited) and British contemporaries, William Turnbull and John Hoyland. 

John Plumb – Paintings 1966.  The Colour Fields

On view from Friday 1st - Friday 10th July

Together with archive material from the artist's estate

email the Gallery for available works: info@paisnegallery.co.uk

Browns London Art Weekend 2nd and 3rd July

Jeremy Gardiner - Lundy North Lighthouse

Browns London Art Weekend 2nd and 3rd July

John Plumb - Pink

Spring Exhibition

24 March 2016

St Ives and Post War - Exhibiton 20th - 30th April

Our Spring Exhibition, aims to present an overview of a wide-ranging and diverse body of work. Roger Hilton, Alexander Mackenzie, Terry Frost and John Copnall admirably reflect the process of parallel development, with Europe and America displaying greater emphasis on the physical properties of paint. Artists who are quintessentially British and still invested with a charming sense of insularity, are Billie Waters, Bryan Pearce and Alan Lowndes.

Stalwarts from the Paisnel Gallery inventory are also well represented. John Tunnard for his continuing pre-occupation with Surrealism and, more recently, celestial overtones, Frank Avray Wilson with a very early example of his Taschiste interpretation, and Martin Bradley with his mystical and poetic imagery.

Minimal and pure paintings by Paul Feiler, John Plumb and Arthur Jackson present contrast to the broad and gestural brushwork of Ivon Hitchens and William Crozier, whilst Graham Sutherland’s profound composition provides a challenging alternative.

Sculptural form is expressed in bronzes and carvings principally by the St Ives- orientated artists Robert Adams, John Milne and Denis Mitchell, with their interpretations of geological or cultural inspirations. Bernard Meadows brings an analysis of the human condition, whilst Bertram Eaton and Brian Willsher simply celebrate the joy of working with natural materials to produce objects of beauty.

20th Century British Art: Autumn 2015

4 November 2015

Paisnel Gallery's new exhibition for autumn 2015 explores a remarkable series of paintings and sculpture from some of the 20th century's most popular British artists. Featuring a broad range of work, from a forward-thinking watercolour by John Piper to a pivotal piece in the career of Bryan Wynter and a dynamic bronze by sculptor Denis Mitchell, 20th Century British Art: Autumn 2015 is an eclectic, varied and accessible collection.

Starting with Peter Kinley's evocative early work from 1953, Vertical Landscape Yellow And Red, this exhibition tells the story of how Britain's art scene rapidly became an intriguing and innovative force. John Piper's Portholland, Cornwall (1955) highlights his informal take on the coastal hamlets of the South West and is an interesting development in his career.

By the following year, William Gear was also making radical changes to the intensely coloured works that had made him one of the finest post-war abstract artists. Structure Element (1956) is a key staging post in his move towards more refined, tonal canvasses.

The 1950s work ends with one of the outstanding pieces in this autumn show: Alan Davie's joyous My Next Sold Will Be In Blue (1959). The title alone sums up his exuberant approach to life (the background is indeed blue) and this is a piece which reflects his status "among the major figures in the art of our times" (The Tate).

The gallery's specialization in work from the St Ives school is also reflected in a colourful and exuberant figurative piece by Bryan Wynter (Guitar II, 1964). Elsewhere, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham's Garden (1970) and Terry Frost's celebratory later work, Spiral (1996) underline the incredible creativity emanating from this small corner of Cornwall.

20th Century British Art: Autumn 2015 has a significant emphasis on sculpture too, and Paisnel Gallery is particularly pleased to present Leon Underwood's bronze Water Rhythm - Variation (1966). Even in his mid seventies, when this bronze was cast, Underwood still retained his inquisitive passion for the human form, rhythm and movement.

Meanwhile, Denis Mitchell's bronze, Endoc (1977), is a distinctive, dynamic example of the St Ives artist's work, the quasi mechanical form still achieving a sense of purity and calm.

With 30 works to suit a wide variety of tastes, 20th Century British Art: Autumn 2015 at Paisnel Gallery is a wonderful reminder of the breadth of creative endeavour during a fine time for British art.

Gardiner In Summer

17 July 2015

Paisnel Gallery is delighted to present its latest collection of works from the renowned contemporary British artist Jeremy Gardiner. Featuring pieces from across three decades that have made him one of our most fascinating and singular artists, Gardiner In Summer confirms his position at the very forefront of landscape painting in the United Kingdom.

Born in Purbeck, Dorset, in 1957, Gardiner's twin influences - the modernist 20th century artist John Tunnard and the Jurassic Coast - have characterised his career. Gardiner's intricate and inventive evocations of the geology of landscape through painting and printmaking is explored in Gardiner In Summer through work that hints at the tension between man and nature. In 1998's Ballard Point No.5, the expansive sea and sky of Dorset is painted from the window of a former studio - now a holiday let - in Swanage. The most recent work, Pinnacle And Haystack, Summer (2014), returns there, as Gardiner represents - via acrylic and jesmonite on paper - the chalk stacks and collapsed caves of the coastline he grew up exploring.

Through found objects, painstaking technique and a combination of the abstract and the representative, Gardiner's real achievement is to produce work that feels as if it is hewn directly from the landscape that he loves so much. The fractured quality of Winspit, Spring (2014), for example, is a reflection of one of the last coastal quarries to close in the 1960s.

Gardiner's interests extend far wider than merely Dorset, however. His study of a waterfall in Angletarn Beck, Cumbria (2011), has a dramatically fluid feel, while the coppery shards of The Crowns, Botallack (2010) reflect the Cornish mining industry.

Following his acclaimed solo show at Victoria Gallery, Bath, this year - at which international art magazine Apollo heralded Jeremy Gardiner as displaying "a remarkable consistency of vision" - Paisnel Gallery's Gardiner In Summer underlines such talent and commitment to contemporary landscape painting.

This exhibition also acts as a trailblazer for another show Gardiner is currently working on, which we're excited to announce will be held at Paisnel Gallery in May 2016. Concentrating on the lighthouses of the south west of England, it will be another exploration of the elemental collision between nature and humanity - just the kind of study which has made Jeremy Gardiner such an intriguing artist.

The Five Phases of John Plumb

8 June 2015

The John Plumb exhibition opens at Paisnel Gallery on Wednesday. In the build up to the first retrospective of this incredible artist, we've been taking a work from his extensive catalogue which best represents his thought processes and interests over a 50-year career. We started in the 1950s, with Painting 1957, and last week we moved into the 1960s, as Plumb made his name with a series of outstanding large scale colourfields. We end our survey of his career with the early 1990s work which signalled a hugely encouraging return to prominence: the Hydrastructures series.

Hydrastructure - Blue Up Green Down I
acrylic on cotton duck
signed, dated 1992 and titled verso
60x60ins (152.5x152.5cms)

Look at the huge scope, ambition and energy of Blue Up Green Down I, and it's barely possible to believe that it's the product of an artist who was, by the early 1990s, suffering from an alarming deterioration in his sight. The colour management and dedication to abstraction and expression in the Hydrastructures series might have come from an artist half Plumb's 65 years.

But although Blue Up Green Down I was determinedly abstract, it's starting point was very much Plumb's immediate environment. He'd moved to Shepperton in Surrey, and his studio sat alongside the River Ash. With that in mind, it's possible to see the Hydrastructures series - the name itself alluding to the Greek word for water - as river landscapes. As Frank Whitford puts it in the exhibition catalogue, "lazy squiggles become reflections on the water or the eddies in a stream. Fat, curving twists of colour become trees bending over a riverbank."

Forty years on from Plumb's very first exhibition in the late 1950s, the Tate acquired one of the Hydrastructures paintings from the 1990s, bookending a quite incredible career. It would be a fitting recognition of what John Plumb had achieved in the realm of abstract art over many decades.

The Five Phases of John Plumb

5 June 2015

It's just five days until the John Plumb exhibition opens at Paisnel Gallery on June 10. In the build up to the first retrospective of this incredible artist, we've been taking a work from his extensive catalogue which best represents his thought processes and interests over a 50-year career. We started in the 1950s, with Painting 1957, and earlier this week we moved into the early 1960s, as Plumb began to use tape in his work. On Wednesday we looked at the historically important Homage To John F Kennedy, and today it's the turn of the series which would, for many, characterise John Plumb: his large colourfields.

White
PVA and acrylic emulsion on cotton duck
signed, dated March 1966 and titled on verso
60x60ins (152.5x152.5cms)

Say "John Plumb" to anyone with an interest in 20th Century abstract art and they're almost certain to recall the series of large canvasses he began painting in the mid-1960s. Often simply a single field of colour embellished with thin bands of acrylic emulsion around the edges, in 1967 Plumb explained these effortlessly precise works as a result of being "concerned with liberating colour as an emotional factor". They remain some of his finest, most recognisable and most striking works.

Step back, and there is an emotional pull to a seemingly simple painting such as White. It conveys presence and atmosphere and yet has a Zen-like, ethereal calm. On closer inspection, however, this isn't just a plain white canvas with the tiniest of blue-green borders. It's all surface texture and modulation - the major colour was always applied with a brush - and as Frank Whitford wrote in our exhibition catalogue, "the slight variation in thickness and textures contribute to the expression of that colour's qualities."

Undeniably, White is the nearest Plumb came to the similar work of his acquaintance Rothko, but there was never any suggestion of plagiarism. Instead, Plumb and Rothko were contemporaries with similar interests, working on large scale paintings that explored the seductive power and magic of colour.

The Five Phases of John Plumb

3 June 2015

It's exactly a week until the John Plumb exhibition opens at Paisnel Gallery on June 10. In the build up to the first retrospective of this incredible artist, we've been taking a work from his extensive catalogue which best represents his thought processes and interests over a 50-year career. We started in the 1950s, with Painting 1957, and earlier this week we moved into the early 1960s, as Plumb began to use tape in his work. Today we look at his landmark, graphical comment on US society in 1963: Homage To John F Kennedy.

Homage To John F Kennedy
oil on canvas
dated 1963 and titled on label verso
60x60ins (152.5 x 152.5cms)

Plumb had always admired art from America, and despite not visiting the country until 1966, its allure began to make its presence felt in his work years before that. This was most obvious in Homage To John F Kennedy, where Plumb's interests in thick, geometric forms segued intriguingly with the flag of the United States.

In the 1960s, Plumb's work was often devoid of obvious meaning - which is part of its appeal. But Homage To John F Kennedy does encourage thoughtful interpretation. 1963 was the year Kennedy was assassinated, and the addition of the iconic stars amid the stripes (there is another work in this series, The Crossing, without the stars) adds an extra poignancy and historical importance.

Indeed, this fascinating piece is readable on several levels, the incomplete central circle perhaps mirroring the tear in US society as it battled to understand the murder of its President. The sober colours only add to the sense of mourning - this outstanding work remains a quiet masterpiece.

The Five Phases of John Plumb

2 June 2015

It's just over a week until the John Plumb exhibition opens at Paisnel Gallery on June 10. In the build up to the first retrospective of this incredible artist, we've been taking a work from his extensive catalogue which best represents his thought processes and interests over a 50-year career. We started in the 1950s, with Painting 1957, and today we move into the early 1960s, as Plumb begins to make quite a name for himself on the London art scene.

Blenheim
PVA and vinyl tape on board
dated 1962 and titled verso
72x48ins (183 x 122 cms)

In the early 1960s, John Plumb began to use tape in his work, laying vinyl strips on board to create geometric, angular shapes of smooth, flat colour. Today, it's easy to compare these works with that of Piet Mondrian, but Plumb was unaware of most of the Dutch artist's oeuvre until some time after.

The fact that Plumb was working in partial ignorance of Mondrian, but producing work of comparable quality says much about his talent. With contemporaries such as Robyn Denny also hitting the headlines for similar work, the art scene in London - of which Plumb was an important part - was hugely exciting. Multimillionaire art collector EJ Power not only supported Plumb, he literally supplied enough tape for a lifetime, determined to foster the right environment for Plumb to thrive alongside the likes of William Turnbull, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.

Given that the 1960s became such a creatively important decade, it was no surprise that the influence and reputation of such artists would be felt for years to come. Edgehill, one of Plumb's tape compositions from this period, is in The Tate collection (purchased for them by EJ Power), but Blenheim is by far the best example taken from this part of his career. It has action, but remains calmly, austerely beautiful. Blenheim reveals an artist in full command of his technique and precise skills.

The Five Phases of John Plumb

27 May 2015

It's two weeks until the John Plumb exhibition opens at Paisnel Gallery on June 10. In the build up to the first retrospective of this incredible artist, we'll be taking a work from his extensive catalogue which best represents his thought processes and interests over a 50-year career. We start in the 1950s, with Painting 195.

Painting 1957
oil on board
signed verso, dated 1957 on label
inscribed NVC, ref 132
36x48ins (91.5 x 122 cms)

By 1957, Plumb had graduated from - and was teaching part time at - the Central School of Art and Design. He also enjoyed his first solo exhibitions in London at Gallery One and New Vision Centre. This painting, indeed, is inscribed with NVC, and it played a starring role in the latter show.

It's obvious why. Plumb had become increasingly interested in the French Tachism movement, where colour was applied haphazardly to canvas in an echo of American painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Plumb's own investigations into this intuitive painting style led to a fascinating series of oils on board which were rich in colour, brushwork and expression.

Look closely, and the mark-making on the board exemplifies the principles of Tachism, the mark-making a wonder to behold in terms of texture and application.

Painting 1957 also reveals just how quickly Plumb was developing. The previous work in the catalogue is a much more figurative piece from 1955, Basement Window with Chair. Two years on, and Plumb has moved into the abstract realm with gusto.

At the gallery, people often tell us that they might not know what a particular piece of abstract art means, but they love it nonetheless. Plumb's Painting 1957 is very much in that category, a piece which doesn't 'say' anything other than how joyful it is to put paint on canvas.

What Painting 1957 offers is an emotive exchange between an artist and the viewer - a state of affairs Plumb repeated time and time again throughout his career.