St Ives & Beyond – Curated Exhibition
17th August – 14th September 2019
We are delighted to introduce you to our guest curator of this exhibition, Richard Selby.
The Redfern Gallery opened in 1923, and it is now one of the oldest contemporary galleries in London. Richard Selby is co-owner and director of the Redfern. He specialises in Modern British Art and has over 30 years of experience in that field.
‘Redfern Gallery has had a strong interest in St Ives artists from the early days, holding a major retrospective of Christopher Wood in 1938, representing Patrick Heron, Paul Feiler and Bryan Wynter as well as featuring many of the St Ives works in numerous exhibitions and art fairs. I joined the gallery in the late eighties after studying painting at Camberwell and was lucky enough to visit West Penwith many times mainly to visit Paul Feiler and Karl Weschke .
It is not a surprise that the area was a mecca for so many avant garde artists in the twentieth century. The incredible quality of the light, the dramatic shapes of the mainly granite coastline, ancient megaliths, old churches and fishing harbours. The warm grey houses of St Ives with yellow lichen covered rooftops framing he sea.
I remember a visit to Karl Weschke’s studio in St Ives. We parked close to Alfred Wallis’ cottage, making our way to the studio down stone steps littered with lobster pots. Patrick Heron had the studio next door to Weschke.
‘We’d better not disturb him’ Karl said as he opened his studio door. Karl had stretched an opaque sheet across the large window which faced straight onto Porthmeor beach creating a beautiful diffused image made up of bright bands of gold, turquoise and cobalt reminiscent of early Herons and works by Rothko. Mark Rothko was, in fact, intrigued about the artistic community of St Ives and he visited area in the late 50’s. Peter Lanyon escorted him around artists’ studios and various places of interest ending with a now famous tea party at Paul Feiler’s home.
The Redfern has had a long association with Paul Feiler and I felt very privileged to get to know him very well and hopefully to have some insight into his work. His later geometric paintings have a sense of an underlying spirituality and, for me, are evocative of the light and form of the Cornish landscape.
For this exhibition I have chosen a wide selection of historic works from the early twentieth century onwards. I have also chosen to include a number of contemporary artists who work in or are connected to Cornwall.’
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