Sven Berlin – Polymath

PRESS RELEASE
New One-Person Exhibition:
9–30 Oct 2017, Belgrave St Ives
Private View Sat 7 Oct 6 – 8pm

A major name in St Ives post-War art, Sven Berlin entered the canon of history through the critically acclaimed Tate exhibition ‘The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art’ in which Modernism was repositioned.

Berlin quickly made his mark as a romantic and unorthodox figure within the creative milieu that was the St Ives art scene of the 1940s and 1950s and the name of the Tate exhibition took its title from his infamous book ‘The Dark Monarch’. The book is a colourful portrayal of several identifiable characters in the town and it led to libel actions that almost ruined him financially.

Sven_Berlin Belgrave_St_Ives Polymath Modern_Art Modernism The_Dark_MonarchBerlin carving outside the tower (his St Ives studio) in 1947

To note, he arrived in Cornwall before Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, and was a founder member of the Crypt Group (1946), which was the basis for the consolidation of the post-War school of British Modernism that St Ives became famous for. He was an adagio dancer before becoming a visual artist, and his powerful flamboyant personality clashed with several of the other artists centred around St Ives. In 1953 he left Cornwall in a horse and cart (people alive today still recount the story of him tearing away at a clatter and with speed) to live amongst the gypsy community of the New Forest finally settling in Dorset, where he died in 1999.

Berlin’s tremendous artistic output, traversed a wide range of media: sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, autobiography, novel writing and poetry. The graphic strength of Berlin’s two-dimensional work underpinned every element of his creative work, particularly the three-dimensional draughtsmanship to be found in his stone carving. It is a fact that all great sculptors are consummate drawers (see for example Elizabeth Frink, Frank Dobson, Gaudier Brzeska et al). In addition to this draftsmanship evident in the drawings and sculpture, the innate flamboyance of Berlin’s character was given full and vibrant expression in a series of beautifully rich still life works, natural history paintings and self-portraits, which can also be seen in the exhibition.

Berlin’s strength of character, which enabled him to reach the heights of artistic excellence while enduring grinding poverty, was matched by an immense physical strength enabling him to carve granite. Above all his life was characterised by an indomitable polymathic spirit. Belgrave St Ives represents the Estate of Sven Berlin and is pleased to continue the exhibition programme of this artist’s work that began in 1989 with Belgrave Gallery, London. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies ‘Polymath’.

Modernism Romanticism Modern_Art St_Ives Sven_BerlinSven Berlin ‘Amanita Phalloides, New Forest’ 1954, oil on board; 34 x 52.5cm.

Berlin_PreyingMantis_Belgrave_St_IvesSven Berlin ‘Praying Mantis’, pen, ink and wash; 38.5 x 29 cm.

Berlin_OFC_Ancient_Mariner_Belgrave_St_Ives
Sven Berlin ‘OFC: Ancient Mariner’ 1995, marble; 6.25 cm (H).

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:
Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE
richard@belgravestives.co.uk    tel. 01736 794888

#Polymath #SvenBerlin

ENDS

ALICE MUMFORD Strategic Colour: PRESS RELEASE

New One-Person Exhibition:
ALICE MUMFORD Strategic Colour

11 Sept – 2 Oct 2017, Belgrave St Ives
Private View Sat 9 Sept 6 – 8pm

Light is Alice Mumford’s essential subject. She creates paintings that bathe you in the lazy heat of summer or the white light of a crispy winter’s morning.

ALICE MUMFORD BELGRAVE ST IVES
Belgrave St Ives is pleased to announce the sixth solo exhibition to be held in the gallery by the painter Alice Mumford. Thirty-four works have been especially created for this show. The artist asks the viewer to study and celebrate with her the importance of colour and how it can be used to picture the everyday ordinariness but also wonder of life. In one of her painting courses (she is regarded highly as a teacher of painting and excerpts can be found on online), she explains that people make the mistake in thinking that a photograph is a true depiction of something; she alludes to the fact that it is just one reality.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with an essay by Dr Ian Massey.

Her work reflects the seasons. Here, Summer Heat on the Patio, Lesceave, Cornwall summons the optical effects of high summer, the way that motes swim and things momentarily appear to shimmer and dissolve as one narrows one’s gaze as it moves from shadow towards the glare of the sun. Frost and Early Morning Sun is equally though differently dramatic, its raked wintry light causing long bluish shadows whilst making hues in a bowl of fruit sharper. Quotes from great artists about colour accompany the following pages of the catalogue, and are selected to help look deeper into Alice’s work.

ALICE MUMFORD BELGRAVE ST IVES
“Colour! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams.” Paul Gauguin – aside painting The Emerald Green Cloth. 

mumford_chair_and_two_blues
“All colours arouse specific associative ideas…” Yves Klein – aside painting Chair and Two Blues.

Mumford is a painter who is entirely focused on her craft. Following training at Dartington, Camberwell, Southwark and Falmouth Colleges of Art, she has become one of the most accomplished painters currently working in Cornwall. After early successes with Cobra & Bellamy, Julian Lax and Badcocks Gallery, Mumford has been represented by Belgrave St Ives since 2005, during which time she has established herself as a pre-eminent painter of still life interiors that draw heavily on her own domestic life. Sansom & Co published a first monograph of her work in 2015.

#ArtStives #StrategicColour #BathedInLight

PHOTO CAPTIONS
Summer Days at Lesceave, Cornwall, Oil on canvas; 100 x 102 cm
The Emerald Green Cloth, Oil on canvas; 40 x 40 cms
Chair and Two Blues, Oil on canvas; 25 x 35 cms
Studio Shot of Alice Mumford

Further captioned images below

NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow: Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HErichard@belgravestives.co.uk
tel.  01736 794888

Alice Mumford Painting Strategic_Colour Bathed_in_light St Ives_Cornwall
Spring Flowers Against the Light

DSCN0201

In the studio: still life set-up

alice_mumford_summer_days_belgrave_stives
Summer’s Day, Lesceave, Cornwall

“Each colour is applied to the canvas in relation to the colours next to it. The painting becomes a living thing and calls out for the colour it want”, Neil Patterson.

ENDS

Brian Rice – Paintings and Prints from the Artist’s Archive

New One-Person Exhibition: 6 – 27 March 2017, Belgrave St Ives  

Private View 4 March 6 – 8pm

A unique opportunity to view a selection of work from West Country artist Brian Rice’s personal collection

Belgrave St Ives is pleased to announce an exhibition selected from Rice’s extensive archive. Paintings and prints will be shown across both gallery spaces, the first time a solo artist will occupy the whole of the gallery.

The exhibition has been arranged to coincide with the launch of the book:

Brian Rice Paintings 1952 – 2016 (with an essay by Andrew Lambirth). First full catalogue of paintings by major British artist, highly fashionable in the sixties and now critically acclaimed for his later work. Published by Sansom & Co., 2016. ISBN: 978-1-908326-96-6

Brian Rice’s career covers a period of remarkable dedication and innovation as an accomplished painter and printmaker. He was born in 1936 in Yeovil, Somerset and studied at Yeovil School of Art from 1952-56 and then Goldsmiths College, London from 1958-59. Rice’s formative years as an artist were in London during the 1960s where he was very much part of the ‘swinging’ art scene that included David Hockney, Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones and Derek Boshier. During this period, the paintings and prints he produced formed part of the zeitgeist and appeared in fashion shoots, set designs and TV commercials. His work, which achieved national and international publicity and acclaim, quickly found its way into worldwide collections.

24-number-one-1960Number One 1960, Oil and mixed media on board; 91.5 x 121 cms by Brian Rice.

During the mid-1970s a change in Rice’s circumstances led him to leave London to return to his roots in the West Country. He became a farmer in Dorset, while continuing to teach part-time at Brighton College of Art (1972 – 91). Although rarely exhibiting during this period, he continued to work slowly developing a visual language that was part of a dialogue with the past, inspired by marks made by prehistoric man and the archaeology of the Dorset landscape. In 1995 he started exhibiting again with a renewed fervor.

Following Rice’s exhibition of groundbreaking 1960s’ paintings and prints at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 2014, the opportunity to review his earlier work inspired a new series of totally abstract paintings based around Constructivist and Bauhaus principles. This exhibition has developed from a second catalogue raisonné about his work (the first was a catalogue of prints, the second of paintings).

brianrice_by_mattaustin_sm
Brian Rice working in his studio 2016. Photograph by Matt Austin.

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE

tel. 01736 794888

Email contact

ENDS