Results tagged “George Shaw” from Coventry Telegraph - Private View

It's possible to travel a long way from Coventry - and still find a familiar image on show.

On a short break in Pembrokeshire I discovered a fantastic exhibition of Graham Sutherland landscapes and other works in the Oriely Y Parc Landscape Gallery, a lovely light and airy space in a well-designed building which also houses the information centre in St Davids.

This seems to be the year to see Graham Sutherland, following the exhibition curated by George Shaw at Modern Art Oxford. That focused heavily on Sutherland's Pembrokeshire landscapes, and some of them feature here too - along with a map suggesting places to visit inspired by the works! The Coventry connection was a practice image for the crucifixion for the Coventry Cathedral tapestry.


Paula Rego, The Bride's Secret Diary, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby Borough Council © Paula Rego

THIS spring the London art world features a host of big-name exhibitions - but you can avoid the crowds and still see some excellent works in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

In London, you can be sure to be in a big crowd seeing exhibitions of works by David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and shortly the Bauhaus design exhibition.

But at Compton Verney there's lesser-known Gainsborough landscapes on show, plus in Into the Light great works by Renoir, Cezanne, Sisley, Monet, Whistler, Pisarro and lots more great artists. And although you pay to get in, there's also the great permanent collection, with the naïve art on the top floor offering lots of treats.

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has all the fantastic Rugby Collection on show for the first time, 175 items, including a good selection of women artists - Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Prunella Clough, Maggi Hambling - and other well-known names such as Leon Kossoff, Bryan Wynter, Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud. It would be mad to miss it. (see a full review in the Coventry Telegraph on May 4)

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Above, Leytonstone 1995, 1999, 2012, by Laura Oldfield Ford

There is a Place.... where you can find works by six artists in a thematic show which brings together some great scenes of urban emptiness.

The New Art Gallery at Walsall is showing There is a Place...until April 14, and it's a place well worth visiting.

Coventry-born George Shaw contributes both Humbrol-painted paintings, and more unusually, etchings, of Tile Hill. There's a huge pile of rubble behind a fence, showing the end of a pub where his mother apparently once worked, and another empty space, and in The End of Time, a path leading to where a pub building once stood.

The 12 short walks are etchings of scenes from around the area, showing scenes that are becoming familiar if you've seen more of his paintings and watercolours - garages, bleak paths, but green tree-filled areas too, and poignantly fence posts with no fence in between. They're small, detailed and show his versatility.

In the last year, George Shaw must have been written about in many places. But now he's really made it - one of his works has been discussed in Pint Sides, the newsletter of the Coventry and North Warwickshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

It's not your normal art criticism though. In Old Fred's Corner, the writer says he spotted in a national paper in an article about the Turner Prize, a picture of a "derelict site that looked strangely familiar". Of course this turned out to be a painting by George Shaw of a pub where he used to go.

Or, as 'Fred', told us, it was the Hawthorn Tree on Broad Lane, Lost Pubs No 36 in the Spring 2011 edition of Pint Sides.

Fred then goes on to reminisce about the history of the Hawthorn, the surrounding area and how it came to be lost, concluding "I must look out for more of Mr Shaw's paintings of modern urban desolation".

Luckily, the editor at this point tells us we can see the exhibition of George's work at the Herbert until March 11, and I hope Fred has availed himself of this opportunity.

A year ago Private View began, and before we launch ourselves into 2012 I want to look back at a year of the Coventry and Warwickshire art world, of Georges, and of galleries coming and going.

One of the early pieces I wrote on Private View focused on the find in an auction house catalogue by Coventry's now former Conservation Officer George Demidowicz of a fantastic set of early 19th century watercolours of the city by William H Brooke, and The Herbert launched a £12,000 public appeal to buy them. Luckily it was a success. Sadly George is no longer with the council so one wonders if a similar set of works would be missed in future.

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At the end of 2011, I've spent a lot of time writing about another George, George Shaw, who also paints Coventry, but in Humbrol paints and watercolours. His works focusing on Tile Hill featured in a major exhibition at the Baltic early in the year, and gained him a nomination for the Turner Prize. Staff at The Herbert must have been jumping for joy when they learned about this, as five years of work to stage an exhibition of his work at the gallery coincided with the prize announcement, which unfortunately he wasn't successful in.

I make no apologies for writing so much about him when his work stands out so much, has gained national acclaim - and the opportunity to write about a local, internationally-recognised artist does not occur all that often!
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