In 2004 a fire spread through the Momart warehouse in East London, incinerating vast quantities of carefully stored works from some of the most prominent galleries in the country, including pieces by Patrick Caulfield, Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili. Artist Gillian Ayres, the celebrated British abstract painter who has exhibited at Tate, the Royal Academy and Serpentine Gallery, was among those affected. At the time Ayres was 75, an age which you might expect an artist to have difficulty bouncing back. But on the contrary, Ayres did recover and with aplomb: in 2010 she filled two gallery spaces at Alan Cristea Gallery, London with fresh paintings that delighted critics with their vibrant palette. BBC journalist Andrew Marr described the new work as: ‘in her acid/sweet collisions, the complexity and crampedness, and then the unscrambling, of the canvas, it's about energy, laid down in colour and transmitted in shockwaves to the viewer'.
Gillian Ayres | Alan Cristea Gallery
This spring Ayres returns to Alan Cristea Gallery, 31 Cork Street to exhibit a new series of paintings alongside a collection of her most recognisable and vibrant images. This contemporary art exhibition spotlights four of Ayres’ most famous paintings, including Cumuli
(1959) which established her reputation when it was exhibited as the centrepiece of the Art Council’s 1960 show Situation. For the first time ever these four works will be up for sale.
Gillian Ayres biography
Ayres began her artistic career at Camberwell College of Arts between 1945-1950 and has been working ever since. Although she is often lauded as being the defining abstract painter of her generation, there are undoubtedly figurative elements to her pieces. Shapes within nature are scattered through her paintings, hiding between starkly defined areas of colour. Suggestions of a wing, a starfish or the moon, dance through Ayres’ mark making, adding emphasis to the evocative titles of each painting.
This appropriation from nature is as present as ever in her latest series, a collection of paintings, prints and other works on paper that prove even at the age of 85 she remains a giant in her field.
|What||Gillian Ayres: New Paintings and Prints, Alan Cristea|
|Where||Alan Cristea Gallery, 43 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5JG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
13 Apr 15 – 30 May 15, Monday - Friday 10am - 5.30 pm Saturday 11am - 2pm (except August)
|Website||Click here for more details|