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July Arts Newsletter

Roses from my garden painted in the studio last week, 27x30cm oil on canvas
It has been such a joy to visit some of London’s galleries and museums again albeit with precision planning and masks. A quick duck into the National Gallery to revisit Titian and Van Gogh on the spur of the moment is still some way off but we’ll get there.  In the meantime, a few ideas below that you will still need to book but should be worth it.
The Paula Rego exhibition at Tate Britain is the biggest hitter in London this Summer. With over 100 works, including paintings, drawings and sculptures, this is the most thorough retrospective of Rego’s work ever shown and highlights her importance in the story of modern figurative art. The show will explore how her work is shaped both by her personal experiences and the socio-political of the time. I can’t wait to see this. Tate Britain 7July-24Oct

The Ryoji Ikeda show invites viewers to immerse themselves in Ikeda’s digital universe. A subterranean warren of sound and light, this exhibition is a sensory journey that is intense and, at points, scary.  Immersive exhibitions are all the rage at the moment, being so insta-friendly, and this would be a great bit of culture to take older children on a trip into town this month. 180 The Strand until 1 Aug

Frank Bowling‘s Land of Many Waters exhibition is part of a few shows celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol. Bowling is widely thought to be one of the UK’s greatest living abstract painters and this major exhibition shows new and recent work. Arnolfini, Bristol 3 Jul-23 Sept

Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty. I have never been that sure about Dubuffet, thinking of him as a doodler that got lucky, but the reviews of this show at the Barbican are so good that I am keen to go and see it. Dubuffet was fascinated by beauty found in the mundane and every day and ‘raw art’ of the untrained and mentally ill. Using any number of different media (coal dust and steel wool, anyone?) he made street art but put it in the gallery. This is a comprehensive exhibition exploring his influences and who he influenced (Basquiat, Keith Haring et al) Looks good. Barbican until 22 Aug

I am really enjoying my screenprinting course and am learning lots, notably more haste less speed. There are no short cuts and there’s a lot of cleaning the screen but it is fun and very satisfying when it goes to plan. I am working on a Fruits de Mer series, here is a lobster and some prawns. A crab and some whelks are currently under production…

A recent house portrait commission for a family reluctantly leaving UK for Brexit reasons. I started on house portraits as a student and feel lucky to still be painting peoples’ loved places.

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