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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Spotlight - When American Art found its expressionist wings

This month’s spotlight takes a summer vacation into the United States of America in the 1940s to 1960s, when American art found a style and voice.  We have all heard of Jackson Pollock, and some like his work on first sight.  I was going to write a spotlight of synaesthetic art – art in which the artist's five sense intermingle so that numbers are colours, and sounds have angular or rounded shape - but there is little to say which can be supported by evidence rather than opinions.  Abstract Expressionism possibly shows such parallels between form and meaning and emotion more tangibly.
From where did abstract expressionism emerge?  It grew from the 1930s in America, following an influx of artists displaced from Europe, at a time when America is thought of as going through an economic Great Depression, which may have been easy times relative to European post-war recovery.  
Image result for pollock   

Historically it was the first distinctive art movement that had grown in the USA.  It was born from seeds of European artist immigration, with influences of Surrealism, made fertile in America’s first public period of introspection.  The style appears at times to be celebrating the random, the chaotic, such as Jackson Pollock, or to be austerely formal while adhering to minimalism, such as Mark Rothko’s areas of sombre colours layered on colours upon colours.  In Abstract Expressionist the act of painting, and its result, were to convey currents of emotions in society going through recovery and re-shaping.  Technically the works are higly layered. Part of Abstract Expressionist work was exploring what shape to take.  And to express and encourage personal reflection.
Image result for Barnett Newman

If you know any great art websites or articles, why not share them here? Send your suggestions to - please not that this isn't for self-promotion!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Pictures from the 2016 Summer Exhibition

27th August - 5th September 2016
at St Laurence's Church, Ludlow
10.00am to 5.00pm daily

This show is quite a special one for us, as it is our 70th Anniversary Summer Exhibition show. Huge thanks must go to the exhibition sub-Committee and to everyone who helped put the show together, including of course the wonderful staff at St Laurence's.

We formally opened our show with some warm words from Councillor Paul Draper, the Mayor of Ludlow, at a well-attended preview evening. You'll find in our show a collection of drawings (including a selection of charcoals from our President, Charles MacCarthy), paintings and sculptures, as well as a rack of cards, but we also have two new and exciting exhibits -  firstly, the Anniversary Art Project, a collection of artworks created to be displayed at this event, and then to be turned into a printed book later in the year, and secondly a multimedia section courtesy of the Words for Art project, a collaboration of film-makers, artists and poets.

Below you'll find a selection of works from the show, but of course this is only the merest hint - if you want to see it all, you'll have to go there in person!

The cover to our Anniversary Art Project folder

Bluebells in Shawley Wood, watercolour, Mrs M Broad

A Prospect of Mdiva, oil, Robert Chitham

Craft table - (L) Pyrographed Plaque, wood, Val Littlehales, (M) Acrobat, bath limestone, Samuel Bebb, (R) Pyrographed Key Holder, wood, Val Littlehales

Farm Buildings, charcoal, Charles MacCarthy

Francis, charcoal, John Jarvis

Ironbridge, acrylic+collage+mixed media, Rob Leckey ARBSA

Kerry Sheep, pastel, Lesley Connolly RBSA

Legend, acrylic, David Tedham

Lost in the Wood, acrylic, Stephen Foxx

Nerine Lilies, oil, Margaret Oakes

Rye Harbour, watercolour, George Loades RBSA BWS

Study in White, oil on linen, Pat Innes

The Montgomery Canal outside Welshpool, acrylic, John Weir - Mayor's Choice

The Shearer, oil, Samuel Bebb

Untitled 1, chinese ink, James Hurdwell - Silk Top Hat's Choice

Watching, pastel, Anne E Priest

Words for Art Display

This is the second and final of our major exhibitions for 2016, and we hope you enjoy our show. Our programme continues until November, and we'll be back again with two more exhibitions next year!

Angela Gladwell's Art Courses

Down at the Library right now there's an exhibition of work from people who have taken Angela Gladwell's most recent art course. All the details are covered below (click the images to enlarge):

There's more, though! Angela's next course begins in October, and covers the topic 'A Cabinet of Curiosities'. If you'd like to sign up, all the details are on the flyer below:

Thomas Gainsborough: His Life and Works

Spotted on the... oh, I'll leave you to guess where. I think you know ;)

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The Ludlow Palmers' website is here:

Redlake Valley Artists and friends - Exhibition

Also spotted on the noticeboard at St Laurence's, this exhibition isn't running for very long so make sure not to miss it!

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The Redlake website is at: