Thursday, 3 January 2019

York art gallery

York Art Gallery has a large and substantial collection of ceramics which make up the bulk of the exhibits. It also houses a collection of paintings and sculptures from the 14th century to contemporary and this post features a collection of these.

Gwen John, Young Woman in a Red Shawl, 1920

John produced over fifty pictures showing the unknown model who appears in this study. It was painted in Meudon, a suburb of Paris, where the artist had settled in 1904. This restrained painting executed in a narrow and subtle range of colours, is typical of her work. John was little known in her lifetime because she lived quietly and was reluctant to exhibit her paintings; moreover, she was overshadowed by her brother, the flamboyant Augustus John. However, today Gwen John's paintings are better known than her brother's and more admired.

Germain Ribot, Les Marmitons, (oil on canvas)

Robert Medley, Bicyclists against a Blue Background, 1951 

Michael Binsborg, Walking in Venice, 1979

Samuel Haile, African Musicians, 1939

David Hockney, Egyptian Head Disappearing into Descending Clouds, 1961, (oil on canvas)

Not a good photograph of this painting due to lots of reflection, but it's one I had not seen before, so wanted to include it.

The painting is closely related to a larger work entitled A Grand Procession of Dignitaries in the Semi-Egyptian Style, which was inspired by a poem by C.P. Cavafy. Hockney was still an art student at the Royal College of Art when he made the painting and did not visit Egypt for another two years.

William Staite Murray, Action and Inaction, 1933-36.

Ben Nicholson, 1934 (still life - Birdie), 1934, (oil and graphite on canvas)

This painting brings the still life close to abstraction. The work centres on the rhythm and balance of the line and texture of the paint surface rather than that of the objects themselves.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Orange Form, 1956

Barns-Graham was a British abstract painter with a career of more than 60 years. She settled in St Ives in the 1940s where she created the Penwith Society of Artists. She was inspired by international abstraction and her own works depict abstracted, flattened forms. Orange Form contrasts the large central orange body with a muted background of greys and white. She has arranged irregular and brightly coloured shapes to create a rhythmic sequence.

Dame Ethel Walker, Decoration: Morning, 1933-36

Walker painted landscapes and still lifes and favoured painting women. This painting, representing a symbolic sense of morning has delicately drawn females, yet strong and balanced in the composition. The standing nude takes on the stance of a tree, her arms serving as branches. Morning suggests new life and hope. 

Harold Gosney, Reverie, 2015

Loretta Braganza, Twelve Apostles, 2015

Braganza's Twelve Apostles was inspired by a ragged row of twelve towering rocks in the sea between Melbourne and Adelaide, named after Christ's apostles.

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