Bryan Pearce, St Ives Artist – some exhibition context for you to enjoy.

With one long weekend left to see the Pearce exhibition, we thought we’d share texts and other context related artwork we have on show. Consisting of oil paintings, drawings by Bryan, the exhibition also includes work by Leonard Fuller (who led the St Ives School of Painting in the 1950s attended by Pearce) and work by his mother and artist friends.

From the 1970s, with the help of other St Ives artists, Pearce produced a series of etchings. Also, under the direction of fellow artists and master printmaker, a number of silk screen stencils based on his oil paintings were produced. Sympathetic to the original paintings these limited edition prints are signed by Pearce.

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Pearce remained largely uninfluenced by other artists although is mother was a good amateur artist. Often paired with the earlier local Naive artist, Alfred Wallis, although with different temperaments, both are genuine ‘Outsider’ artists with a similar matter-of-fact freshness and singularity of view.

Lanyon_StandingStones_1957_LoResPeter Lanyon Standing Stones 1951.
Sheet size: 55.5 x 38 cms Signed and dated Registration Proof

Peter Lanyon

The harbour, the coastguard, or the bridge over the railway happen to Bryan Pearce who is a native of St Ives. All these things have an activity which is not only seen, there, is evidence in every painting of an awareness which is more direct, the knowing which a man will have for land or sea or craft. When this understanding is linked to the kind of play which is common in child art, the combination is called Folk Art. If a category is necessary, Bryan Pearce is nearest to this.

His art emerges at a time when sophistication is disintegrating St Ives painting, and a self-conscious group of artists is mourning the decline of a fictitious ‘St Ives School’. Bryan Pearce takes a walk to Carbis Bay, returning by the cliff path to paint what has happened with a blue sea and green grass and side-seen house and around corner looks, that have been avoided in the quaint and pretty concept of picture postcard St Ives, and exploited in boutique primitivism. Because his sources are not seen with a passive eye, but are truly happenings, his paintings original.

Theory and speculation usually put distance between the event and its descriptions, and the painting is subjected to stretching by miles of elastic works, so that the acts of observing, making and communicating are all studies out of context. These paintings may be subjects of analysis to some people but that activity is not going to make the paintings more understandable. It is necessary to accept these works as the labour of a man who has to communicate this way because there is no other. It is then possible to celebrate the facts and not the theory.

Catalogue introduction
St. Martin’s Gallery, London 1964

Denis Mitchell and Kate Nicholson

Sir Alan Bowness

These enchanting sunlit paintings are mostly of St Ives—the boats in the harbour, the fishermen’s cottages and gardens, the parish church that ones sees below Bryan Pearce’s studio window. It is a serene untroubled world that reflects the natural innocence and delight of a man who has found relief and rehabilitation through painting. For Bryan Pearce has suffered since childhood from a crippling mental illness (phenylketonuria) that has made normal communication impossible for him, and in Peter Lanyon’s words he ‘…has to communicate this way because there is no other.’

Catalogue introduction
New Art Centre, London 1966

Mary Pearce (Pearce’s mother) and Leonard Fuller (Pearce’s teacher)

H. S. Ede

If anyone is in need of peace, trust and joy, they will find it in the work of Bryan Pearce. He gives with his whole being, totally free of sophistication and totally altruistic; he paints as he breathes. These stones which form a pier, this blue which surrounds a ship, this island and lighthouse, this road, church, window, flowers in their pot, a thousand visual things, are the deep unconscious quality of this interior life and his immediate contact with his close friend God.

I know of no artist with whom I can compare him in this direct simplicity and devotion save Fra Angelico who would place one colour against another with assurance and tenderness, and yet, so it is said, when he painted the body of Jesus, he closed his eye in humble knowledge of his own frailty

Bryan Pearce has this inward vision, undisturbed by greed, desire of worldly achievement, concern with his own personality and much else; and such wholeness lives in the his absorbed loved, expressed he know not how.

It isn’t at all as a naïve painter he should be classed, or even perhaps as a ‘painter’—he really knows little of technique—but as an individual actively happy in reproducing the beauty of the visual works and his instinctive entrapment in it. I am grateful to him for this unhindered vision which is the deathless source of art.

Catalogue introduction
Falmouth Art Gallery. Cornwall 1982

ocasey

hepworth_belgrave_stives

Breon O’Casey and Barbara Hepworth 

Always beginning a painting with a feint pencil outline and gradually blocking in areas using a personal palette of colours, a sense of order and calmness, bathed in the ambient light of western Cornwall, pervades Pearce’s work.

space

WINTER EXHIBITION 2018

WINTER EXHIBITION 2018 – Installation and PV

The show – a large mixed exhibition of prints, drawings, small paintings and 3D works by Modern British and Contemporary artists – opened on Saturday 1st December and runs through to 7 January 2019.

The Private View was spiced up by locally-made gin from St Ives Liquor and lively music by Melange Tous (Delphi Hudson & Nigel Bispham). A good time was had by all!

VIEW PICTURES / VIEW 3D WORKS

Belgrave @ British Art Fair

ArtFair_BAF_Blog

20 – 23 Sept 2018

The British Art Fair has just opened at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY. Please  do come and see us on the Second Floor, Stands 36 & 38, (illustrated above) if you can.

As well as the extraordinary sculpture Two Forms in Echelon 1961 by Barbara Hepworth, you will also find works by Robert Adams, W. Barns-Graham, Sven Berlin, Sandra Blow, Paul Feiler, Terry Frost, Patrick Hayman, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Denis Mitchell, Ben Nicholson, Kate Nicholson, Bryan Pearce, Brian Rice, William Scott, John Wells and others.

You can view a selection of the works on our website here, but the show is much better experienced by a visit. Please contact the gallery if you would like a complimentary eVitation.

THE LONDON GROUP AT ST IVES

74 members of the London Group are exhibiting in St Ives, Cornwall this September, making this one of the biggest shows in the Group’s history. The show run’s for a month in the glorious Penwith Gallery to coincide with the yearly St Ives Festival so it should get a good reception in Cornwall. The London Group at St Ives marks the second leg of a house-swap with the Penwith Society of Arts who exhibited at the Cello Factory back in April 2018. In addition, here at Belgrave St Ives, there is a further show highlighting the historical connections between group members and the area.

Many of the group members will be travelling to Cornwall to be at the openings on Friday 7th and there will be Artists talks during the exbition on Saturday 8 September 10.30 -12.00 am at the Penwith Gallery.

We are celebrating the exhibitions as part of the St Ives September Festival. There will be so much to see and do!

Fully illustrated colour catalogues are available on request. Please contact the galleries.

LONDON_GROUP_INSTA_belgrave

 

Jessica Cooper, The Intimate Landscape

PRESS RELEASE

The Intimate Landscape Belgrave St Ives 8 – 29 October 2018

This October, Belgrave St Ives presents The Intimate Landscape, an exhibition of new paintings by artist Jessica Cooper RWA. This collection of works is inspired by two separate yet distinctly parallel landscapes – St Ives in the artist’s home county of Cornwall, and the village of Messanges in South West France – both of which have special meaning to the artist. Similar in their coastal beauty, with wide white sands, simple architecture and laid back coastal culture, the essence of these two villages are defined on canvas in Cooper’s distinctly reductive style. Created almost as a sketchbook collection of works, comprising large scale landscape paintings and a series of smaller works, they mark Cooper’s return to painting the landscape after two years of work in digital and mixed media projects in the UK and United States.

In addition, the artist has created a three-minute film of moving images which contextualises the collection. Entitled I Never Want To Lose Another Day, the film gives personal insight into Cooper’s relationship with St Ives and Messanges, and captures the peace and beauty of these unique Atlantic locations. The film will be on show in the gallery throughout the exhibition.

See The Intimate Landscape, from 8 to 29 October 2018 at Belgrave St Ives
22 Fore St, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE.

 -END-

Jessica_Cooper_Where_It_All-started_Again

Jessica Cooper | Where It All started Again

Print ready 300pdi images for press use are available, please request. 

 

Editors Notes

 

Jessica Cooper RWA

Jessica Cooper has lived and worked in Cornwall’s West Penwith for most of her life. She studied at Falmouth College of Art, and at Goldsmith’s, University of London, and is a member of the Newlyn Society of Artists, Penwith Society of Artists, and is an elected RWA. She exhibits regionally, nationally and internationally on a regular basis, including exhibitions at The Exchange and Newlyn Art Gallery, the RWA and Tate St. Ives.

www.jessicacooper.co.uk

 

Belgrave St Ives

Belgrave St Ives specialises in Modern British and Contemporary Art. There is an emphasis on work by artists associated with Cornwall from the 1930s to the present time. The gallery is the only private art gallery in Cornwall showing regular exhibitions of work by major artists associated with the St Ives Modern Period as well as exhibitions of works by other select Modern British and Contemporary Artists. The gallery works with a number of artists, artists’ estates, collectors and other galleries, to produce an annual programme of changing monthly one-person and themed exhibitions usually accompanied by published material.

www.belgravestives.co.uk

 

For further press information or additional images contact Mercedes at Fine Art Communications director@fineartcommunications.co.uk / Tel 07825 270235 /

www.fineartcommunications.co.uk

PADRAIG MAC MIADHACHAIN A Life of Painting  (1929 – 2017)

PRESS RELEASE

New One-Person Exhibition:
11 June – 2 July 2018, Belgrave St Ives
Private View: 9 June 6 – 8pm

Based in Swanage, Dorset from the early 1950s and working from studios in various parts of the world, Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin established a full time career painting for a living and living to paint.

Looking at places through the lens of colour is core to Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin’s work, and so we can understand why he over-wintered in places like the Balearic Islands (1950s), the Canary Islands (1960s and 1970s) and St Ives (1990s onwards), and how this fits with his earliest memories of his sea-side holidays on the east coast of Ireland. However, he always returned home to his adopted Swanage, where he continued to paint, swim, walk and ‘mooch along the beach’ (his words). This retrospective exhibition is the first attempt to view Mac Miadhacháin’s oeuvre in a chronological order. It is interesting to see not only the evolution of a personal visual language but also the artist’s ability to move from abstract to figurative and back again, from tonal painting to high chroma, minimalist to narrative, dependent on the subject, and artistic intent. The experiences of travel and the discovery of alternative cultures fed directly into his work and several paintings in this exhibition illustrate these various cultural references.

MacMiadhachain_FishingPort_c1980_HiResFishing Port c1986 Oil on canvas; 50.5 x 61 cms

Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin was born in 1929 in Downpatrick, County Down, and trained at Belfast College of Art and the National College of Art in Dublin where he focused on portraiture before beginning his exhibiting career in 1951. Studying at Belfast and Dublin was a good solid training in technique and one that was to prove of huge underlying significance when his interest in much more contemporary art began to grow in the early 60s, following the winning of a Polish Government Scholarship to Krakow in 1960 and the resulting friendship with the landscape painter Piotr Potworowski, an artist with close links to the St Ives School. Further influence is suggested by Nicholas Usherwood in the catalogue essay to the new exhibition, where he points to “…an experimental shift of direction almost certainly confirmed by the shows he had alongside such distinguished Irish contemporary painters as Louis LeBrocquy, Camille Souter and Gerard Dillon in the Irish Exhibitions of Living Art at around the same time”.

Later in his career, the artists of the St Ives School were important influences; most notably, fellow Northern Irishman William Scott, Roger Hilton, Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson. Mac Miadhacháin was able to develop his own personal style without, at the same time, getting swamped by the tendency to abstraction at large.

MacMiadhachain_TheHarbour_2002_HiResThe Harbour 2002 Oil on linen; 61 x 61 cm

MacMiadhachain_TheGatesOfLove_Asila_Morocco_c1992_Belgrave_St_IvesThe Gates Of Love Asila Morocco c1992 by Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin. Showing at Belgrave St Ives, 11th June to 2nd July 2018.

Mac Miadhacháin travelled widely throughout North and South America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Republic of Ireland. A long exhibiting career included 17 solo shows in London and exhibitions in Madrid, Dublin, Belfast, Las Palmas, Krakow, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver. He held a retrospective exhibition at the Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, in 1999, and in 2000 was one of three artists included in Fedden’s Choice at Lena Boyle Fine Art – an exhibition of the work of Mary Fedden’s favourite artists. The National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland hold examples of his work, which can also be found in private collections all around the world.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Nicholas Usherwood is available.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook @belgravestives #alifeofpainting

MacMiadhachain_TheyLeftTheirShadows_2008_HiRes
They Left Their Shadows 2008 Oil on board; 20 x 25 cm

Macmiadhachain_Portrait_Samantha_Cook_Grain_PrintPortrait of Pádraig Mac Miadhacháin by Samantha Cook

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