Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Robert and Adèle

Yesterday I had two friends whose shows were opening across the road from each other.
Robert Dukes' Paintings and Drawings is now open at Browse and Darby in Cork Street, London. Robert is a fantastic painter and I attended a few of his drawing sessions at the National Gallery. He is extremely knowledgeable about the Gallery and has a profound understanding of painting.

Robert makes old masters paintings, or rather Painting with a big P, one of the focuses of his work. Here is a wall in the show with his studies from Degas, I especially loved the first one on the right.
More studies, from Balthus, Rembrandt and Hals on the opposite wall.
I called them studies but in fact I think these are really paintings in their own right, the subjects having been totally appropriated by Robert and made his own. The brushwork is as usual spectacular, thick paint, deliberate marks, impeccable colour mixes. 

There are photos on the Browse and Darby website ( but what a shame they introduced a slideshow viewer as they used to have very high resolution images !), and a surprising interview with Robert by Neil Plotkin on Painting Perceptions, but the news is that Robert has finally given in to technology and is having a friend designing his website, so don't forget to check it out in the next weeks.

Here are more photos from the display downstairs.
How curious that in the past weeks I was working on a similar painting as the second from right in the bottom pic. 
I have recently been commissioned a large portrait of an ambassador. In my painting he is standing in front of a large neapolitan landscape he owns; here is the detail from the background of my picture: the classic bit with the view of the Vesuvio, seen from a very similar point of view as the painting that Robert has so intensely looked at. Could it be the same tree ?

Also briefly met at the opening: Alex Fowler, Susan Wilson and Claudia Carr, three amazing painters from the gallery roster.

At the same time, on the other side of the road, a large crowd was enjoying the paintings from a group show at the Medici Gallery. I have recently made contact with painter Adèle Wagstaff via Facebook. We have been corresponding and finally got to meet yesterday.
I was aware of Adèle's work because we had paintings hanging in the same show a couple of times, and so I am glad we have managed a few words and will be meeting again soon. I really admire her sensitive portraits and I am very curious about her trips to Egypt and the work that has come out of this experience.
Here is a wall with two still life paintings and a nude by Adèle.
The landscapes are by Judith Green, another painter who has been recently featured on Painting Perceptions.

What an inspirational evening !


Patrick Leyendecker said...

i like your artblog, you should post in bigger pictures, great work.

Ilaria said...

Thank you Patrick, you are right I think I should redesign the blog: when I try bigger picture they get cut off, at least on my screen, so I have to post a smaller size.