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Posts tagged ‘Gallery’

Las Meninas: Fourth Interpretative Exercise

It’s been almost 10 months since I last created a work in my collection of painted interpretations of Velazquez´s famous masterpiece, Las Meninas, and in fact, after I had completed the third of the set, I thought that the group was pretty much complete. It was a collection which was significant not just in itself, but because it launched for me an entire new way of seeing both famous masterpieces and reinterpreting them (something which went on to inspire my new redevelopment of works by Rubens, Van Gogh and Courbet amongst others), but also instigated a new collection of more simplified quasi-cubist works developing flattened colour panes and using acrylic as a primary medium. However, at the time of painting the third Las Meninas, I also started a fourth, but as I remember it, a little while after starting, my interpretation of a Titian got me all carried away, and I left the canvas unfinished.

Thus it may have remained were it not for a spring (well autumn…) clean on which I embarked a couple of weeks ago. Discovering the canvas in its unfinished state I was 50:50 whether to bin it, or finish it. Opting to finish what I had started, I am now happy to present the final interpretation of Velazquez´s renowned masterpiece.

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Las Meninas: Fourth Interpretative Exercise (©2016 Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Taking the abstracted character shapes from both the second and third interpretations and reusing them in yet another composition, this work is more of a satyrical take on the modern day clinical art gallery in which works such as Velazquez’s can be seen today… seen but certainly not touched. With their security guards, their roped off works, their cameras and alarms and pristine white walls, galleries are not always the most welcome of places, especially when compared with the abundantly filled, cosy interiors depicted in the likes of the original Las Meninas. But at the same time, this vacuous white gallery setting has become the staple of art institutions the world over, a space which allows the masterpieces themselves to shine in relative safety, free to inspire future generations with their majesty, just as Las Meninas did me.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

Onwards to Vienna, Part 3: Palaces of Art

To say that there is a lot of art in Vienna is like saying there are a lot of paellas in Spain. The city literally lives, breathes and exudes art from its every corner and facet. Everywhere you go, large posters advertise the latest sensational exhibition appearing at the Leopold, or the Albertina, while inside the Belvedere and the Kunsthistoriches museums, some of the most famous paintings ever known to the history of art happily reside. We were literally astonished by the wealth of art contained within a small central core of the city, and by the end of our trip were rendered utterly exhausted by the amount of art we saw. But we were all the more fulfilled as a result.

If I were to reproduce a photo of all the paintings we saw in permanent collections and temporary shows alike, the single blog post resulting would probably keep you scrolling downwards for a lifetime. Rather than do that therefore, I wanted to focus a little on the majestic buildings which host Vienna’s amassed artistic treasures, before showing you just a few of the works on show within them.

Almost unable to take in the breadth of art at the Kunsthistoriches Museum

Almost unable to take in the breadth of art at the Kunsthistoriches Museum

There was no missing the incredible grandeur of the building hosting the Kunsthistoriches Museum (The History of Art Museum), which sits opposite its domed twin – a duo of palaces built some 150 or so years ago upon the advent of the Ringstrasse. With an art collection mainly built up over successive generations of Hapsburg rule, and containing breathtaking masterpieces by the likes of Titian, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Velazquez, it is no wonder that the museum is visited by more than 1.5 million people every year. But beyond the art on the walls, what is truly momentous is the building itself which, tailor-created especially to hold the very collection which graces the building today, is filled with every kind of creative lavishness, from murals to sculptures, friezes and reliefs, and chief amongst them all, some beautiful wall murals by Gustav Klimt himself.

Klimt murals in the main hallway of the Kunsthistoriches Museum

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Klimt was of course to take centre stage across Vienna’s artistic offerings, not only in the galleries but in every manifestation of souvenir and guidebook. At the core of the city’s multifaceted Klimt showcase, his famous painting The Kiss lords over all the rest, glimmering with its multi-layered gold leaf in a long gallery on one side of the Upper Belvedere gallery. This equally spectacular palace is just one half of an iconic centre of art which offers exhibitions in both the Upper and Lower galleries and whose buildings are laced with all of the elaborate pomp intended by the original owner, Prince Eugene of Savoy, to evoke the magnificent of his various 17th century military successes.

The beautiful Belvedere

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But back to the 20th century, and my favourite of all the Klimt spectacles is the Secession building, a glimmering gold spectacle of modernism constructed in the Jugendstil style as a showcase for the Secession movement’s artists, chief amongst whom was of course Klimt himself. And today, the star attraction is Klimt’s allegorical Beethoven Frieze, one of the most iconic of the artist’s works.

The Secession Building and Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze

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In all, during 4 days in the city of Vienna, we visited some 8 galleries, an equal number of permanent exhibitions and an additional 12 temporary exhibitions. The vast wealth of art on offer was simply mind blowing, from the ancient treasures of the Kunsthistoriches museum and the delicate 19th century works of the Belvedere, to the in depth studies of Klimt and Schiele in the Leopold museum, and the incredible collection of impressionist art in the Albertina. Below are just a few photos of the many artistic treasures we saw. Far too many to take in, but we made and enjoyed our every attempt.

Conscience and Conflict: Pallant House explores British Artists and the Spanish Civil War

As the year draws to a close, it is only natural to look back on the highs and lows, and to review everything a little. When it comes to exhibitions, I wouldn’t say that 2014 was necessarily the strongest of years in the UK. I was left a little disappointed by a number of exhibitions I attended, especially at the Royal Academy and Tate Britain. However that is not to say that there were not a number of sure hits. My top 5 exhibitions of the year (in no particular order) have to include the Matisse Cut-outs at Tate Modern, Malevich at Tate Modern, Egon Schiele at the Courtauld, and Rembrandt at the National Gallery. But for the final of the 5, one further exhibition has managed to squeeze into my year’s hit-list, just before 2014 expired: Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester.

As far as modern world history goes, the Spanish Civil War is too often overshadowed by the longer, larger Second World War that followed it. But none can underestimate the significance of this conflict which, in effect, lasted decades beyond the cessation of fighting, and not least because this was one conflict where the Fascists won the war, right on the doorstep of democratic civilisation. And it was this fear – the very real concern that fascism might win at a time when two major fascist dictators were already installed in Germany and Italy, and when a greater world conflict seemed more than likely – that inspired the artistic reaction amongst British Artists that is the focus of this excellent exhibition.

Frank Brangwyn: For the relief of women and children in Spain (1936-7), detail

Frank Brangwyn: For the relief of women and children in Spain (1936-7), detail

Clive Branson, Demonstration in Battersea (1939)

Clive Branson, Demonstration in Battersea (1939)

Merlyn Evans, Distressed Area (1938)

Merlyn Evans, Distressed Area (1938)

Walter Nessler, Premonition (1937)

Walter Nessler, Premonition (1937)

Edward Burra, The Watcher (1937)

Edward Burra, The Watcher (1937)

Stanley William Hayter, Paysage Anthropophage (Man-eating landscape) (1938)

Stanley William Hayter, Paysage Anthropophage (Man-eating landscape) (1938)

For British Artists between 1936-9 were reacting not just to the horrors of the war, often with surreal images (Edward Burra’s brilliant watercolours being a prime example), destroyed landscapes (Merlyn Evans), and distraught victims (Henry Moore and Picasso), but also to the innate frustration that the British Government had adopted a non-interventionist policy. This felt like utter madness when the fascist leaders of Europe were actively intervening in the Fascist cause, and caused artists of Britain to uprise, creating brilliant propaganda posters supporting the Republican Cause and, ultimately, fighting in the war themselves.

Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman (1937)

Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman (1937)

John Armstrong, Invocation (1938)

John Armstrong, Invocation (1938)

Alastair Morton, Spanish Civil War (1939)

Alastair Morton, Spanish Civil War (1939)

Joan Miro, Aidez L'Espagne (Help Spain) (1937)

Joan Miro, Aidez L’Espagne (Help Spain) (1937)

Henry Moore, Spanish Prisoner (1939)

Henry Moore, Spanish Prisoner (1939)

So this is an exhibition of posters and of paintings, all sharing the high tensions and morbid premonitions of the time. How apt, for example, was Walter Nessler’s Premonition in 1937, in which he imagined London suffering the same bombardment as had destroyed the Basque town of Guernica only weeks before. How right he was, for only 3 years later, his imagined landscape would become a stark reality for Blitzed London. Those tensions are also brilliantly played out in posters such as Brangwyn’s For the Relief of Women and Children in Spain, which uses the catholic imagery of Mary to emphasise the war’s human plight, especially amongst Spanish Children, and of course in Picasso’s Weeping Woman, painted at the same time as the most famous of all reactions to the war, Guernica, and which makes for a sensational focus of this exhibition.

Conscience and Conflict has only 6 weeks to go, but it’s a truly brilliant exhibition, and if you can’t make it your last favourite of 2014, make it your first of 2015. The exhibition closes on 15th February 2015.

Countdown to my new Solo Exhibition | 1 day – Ready to go!

I can’t believe it. After almost as many months of planning and preparation as it takes to make a baby, my baby – my new solo art exhibition When (S)pain became the Norm at London’s Strand Gallery – is finally upon us. Today I will be heading into the gallery to set up the show which comprises 105 displayed and framed works, and an additional 65 unframed mounted works – all for sale, of course.

The exhibition is the result of 6 years of hard creative slog. It’s testament to the constant workings of my imagination, and the unrelenting desire to be creating, whether it be on canvas or paper. Each painting or print has a detailed comprehensive story which is told through the combination of colours and form, and in its overall composition, while each Norm illustration has itself been used to tell or accompany a story on this very blog. All in all, from today onwards, London’s Strand Gallery will be filled with 105 windows onto another world, inviting viewers to enter in and go on a little journey within each work.

Preparations for the show

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So as I commence the final piece of my journey towards getting my show open to the world, the final piece of the jigsaw is YOU – without viewers with whom I can share my work, the exhibition will not be ultimately successful. Like any artist, I need my works to be seen – I want people to see my view of the world, even if it is only for a few days. And of course, I need to sell, so that my work can spread beyond the boundaries of my art-filled home to bring colour and life to others. So please do put the details of my exhibition in your diary and come along to central London to share in the world of De Lacy-Brown Art for a moment or two. It won’t be the same without you.

The exhibition is on at The Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6BP from 13 – 18 May 2014. The gallery is open daily 11am – 7pm with early closure on Sunday. See you there!

Expo 2014 Poster Bricks Poster A2 Flamenco Poster A2 Cafetiere

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Nicholas de Lacy-Brown’s new solo exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, will be at London’s Strand Gallery from 13 – 18 May 2014. For more details, click here.

Countdown to my new Solo Exhibition | 3 days – Flamenco Norm

In 2005 when I was studying law at university, I started doodling The Norm. It was a character straight out of my imagination, but inspired by Kelsen’s Theory of Normativity which I was studying in jurisprudence. The inspiration wasn’t so much garnered from topic, which was inherently boring, but more out of the need to distract myself from falling asleep in lectures. With the advent of the Norm came a series of paintings, exhibited in 2006 at my Sussex solo exhibition, Between Me and My Reflection, before the collection dried up.

The next stage of this important Norm story is November 2011. I was on a career break, waiting for a new job to begin, and wondering how to make the most of the time suddenly available to me. It was my friend Cassandra who suggested that I rejuvinate the Norms, some 5 years after I had last painted them. The idea was sewn, and this very blog, The Daily Norm, was the result. I posted my first ever article on 14 November 2011, and from that moment onwards I went into artistic overdrive, drawing, painting and designing Norms for this blog.

Flamenco Norm (2011 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Flamenco Norm (2011 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

One of the first creations of the Norm rebirth was this painting: Flamenco Norm. Painting on the tail-end of my Spanish collection, and in fact created while I was in my house in Marbella, this painting represents the perfect transition between the Spanish section of my new London exhibition (starting in 3 days!) and the most comprehensive section of the whole show: my Norms! With its deep yellow cracking walls covered with flamenco memorabilia, its bare bulb and wooden floor, this to me is the typical Spanish flamenco setting, while the melancholy guitar and the energetic swish of the flamenco dress represents the heart and soul of this vibrant indefatigable dance. It’s still one of my favourite Norm paintings.

So as the title of my new exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, apty represents, this was the period when both pain, and spain transcended into a new era of Norms which has been growing strong ever since. See the entire collection at my new solo show – opening on Tuesday.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Nicholas de Lacy-Brown’s new solo exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, will be at London’s Strand Gallery from 13 – 18 May 2014. For more details, click here.

Countdown to my new Solo Exhibition | 4 days – ¡Guerra!

With 4 days left to go until my exhibition, I wanted to take you to sunnier climes in exploring some of the collection which will be on display as my work goes on show at The Strand Gallery, albeit not necessarily calmer times. For in painting the first of what was to become a comprehensive series of works based on my most beloved of countries, Spain, I reached back into history for inspiration, and more particularly to one of the most turbulent periods of Spanish history – the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9.

The Spanish Civil War has been somewhat overlooked in the typical school’s history curriculum in favour of the more wide reaching first and second world wars. It was perhaps for this reason that I became so engrossed in the story of the war when I first started reading about it during my post-accident convalescence in 2009. Of course I was well aware that the war had happened, but knew nothing of the shocking details which meant that only a little over 70 years before, the country which today seems such a calm sanctuary of beach tourism and a hotbed of cultural highlights, was ravaged by one of the most severe wars in history. And what made the war even more shocking to my mind was the fact that it had seen one Spaniard turn against another, families literally split in two and generations of friends turn in on one another. Here there was not the kind of national solidarity which comes of an entire nation being invaded by an external aggressor, but a country made cannibal, turning in on itself.

¡Guerra!: The Spanish Civil War (Oil on canvas, 2009 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

¡Guerra!: The Spanish Civil War (Oil on canvas, 2009 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

The more I read about the war, the more engrossed I became, and it was only a matter of time before an image started to emerge in my head for a painting depicting the conflict. So taking a 90cm x 90cm canvas, I set about painting what was to initiate an entire series of Spanish paintings, this one showing the country at its lowest ebb. From the Spanish guitar shown split at the painting’s centre as a symbol of Franco’s attack on the Andaluz gypsy culture, and the bombings of the innocent down of Guernica, to the imprint of a soldier’s show trod across an abandoned doll, symbol of the total disregard for innocent lives, even children’s – this painting contains all of the ingredients which made the Spanish Civil War so shocking to me.

And yet despite the somewhat grim tale it portrays, the work remains one of my favourite paintings, and hangs in prime position above my bed, where it has remained since it was first created. Should I sell the work at my forthcoming Strand Gallery show, it will be a hard one to part from.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Nicholas de Lacy-Brown’s new solo exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, will be at London’s Strand Gallery from 13 – 18 May 2014. For more details, click here.

Countdown to my new Solo Exhibition | 6 days – Champiñones

As the time for my new London solo art exhibition fast approaches, I am sharing some of the artworks which will be exhibited, most of them for the first ever time in a public gallery. Yesterday, I shared the first of my accident paintings, created in the immediate aftermath of my sudden accident in May 2009. Today I’m moving on to a work created towards the end of the series, at a time when the problems of my post-accident injuries moved from broken bones to deep internal infection. It was also the time when, after a year of healing and corrective surgery, I was told that the leg would have to be rebroken and reset, which in effect meant that I would be going back to square one all over again.

The resulting painting, La Marcha de Los Champiñones (March of the Mushrooms) was painted in my house in Spain (hence the Spanish title given to the work) immediately following my fifth operation – an emergency procedure to remove large scale infection which had built up in the leg. And no surprise there, since the amount of surgery I had endured up until this point was so extensive that my leg was literally riddled with holes. The leg had also healed with a fixed flexion deformity, which in effect meant that it had healed bent and would need to be rebroken.

La Marcha de los Champiñones (2009 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

La Marcha de los Champiñones (2009 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

All this I reflected visually with the use of mushrooms as an indication of the spread of infection, hence why, when the bent leg is cut open, a mushroom can be found at its centre. Meanwhile, a fragmented landscape, pocked with holes and broken pieces represents the fragility of my half-healed bones at that time, and the leg, which is also full of pins and nails, represents the amount of metal I had in my leg after various metal fixators had been used to piece it back together. Meanwhile, the use of road traffic symbols including ribbon and roadwork signs, as well as ladders, demonstrates that the leg was, at this stage, far from repaired and still a work in progress. It also reflects the accident which occurred by a road side.

It’s a painting full of some of the cynicism and frustration I was feeling at the time, but by this stage, my accident paintings had become more visually playful as I had accepted my fate and focused my energies on expressing my turmoil visually instead. The resulting image is one of bright colours and whimsical imagery which transports the heavily emotional accident works into a new place of greater hope and free-spiritedness. And just in time, for a new collection based on the bright colours and vivid culture of Spain was just around the corner…

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

Nicholas de Lacy-Brown’s new solo exhibition, When (S)pain became the Norm, will be at London’s Strand Gallery from 13 – 18 May 2014. For more details, click here.