Clive Head From Victoria to Arcadia

                               MARLBOROUGH FINE ART (LONDON) LTD                        

             Victoria Arcade (oil on canvas)


Clive Head From Victoria to Arcadia                             

 Private view Tuesday 13 November, 6-8 pm

Exhibition 14 November–8 December 2012

Marlborough Fine Art is pleased to announce the exhibition of works by Clive Head created in the two years since his exhibition Clive Head: Modern Perspectives at the National Gallery in 2010.  It comprises 6 paintings, two etchings and a drawing.

‘My work begins in the reality of my surroundings, in particular the urban landscape.  Apart from Leicester Square 2011 all the paintings and etchings in this exhibition began in my visits to Victoria Underground Station and its surroundings … all my paintings begin with me moving through the world, looking all around me.’

Head has talked of his wish to make paintings that are as convincing as any photorealist painting but of a space that could not be photographed as a still.  He is not a photorealist, ‘the images are not paintings of photographs, no photograph corresponds to the scene being shown and, most importantly there could not be a photograph or a montage of photographs, which shows this view in this way’. His paintings resolve time and movement as a single coherent view, which although entirely credible, cannot be done through conventional means to record our world. Head’s paintings, such as Artist Descending a Staircase 2012 have gone beyond photography. They have been described as a seamless cubism for the post-photographic age.

‘I begin each painting in a haptic experience of the here and now. I am focusing on the actuality of the environment rather than its subjective relevance to me. I am also interested in how it is from every angle, and this becomes manifest in the paintings where the viewer is both centred and displaced.’

‘The subject matter is everything that comes into my experience, and continues to do so throughout the making of the painting. A chance encounter with a person on the day that I paint a figure might result in their painted likeness. My paintings of the modern world have developed from being landscapes to inscapes.’

Head is an intuitive and painterly painter. He believes that only through drawing can an artist invent new pictorial spaces. The large etching Terminus 2012 is the first etching Head has made since he was 20. ‘My paintings always begin with a complex drawing on the canvas which is subsequently painted over. The print is an attempt to constitute the space as a continuation of this drawing. To achieve this I draw directly onto the copper plate, biting the lines with acid every few days. I have to think in reverse, there is no room for error. I have discovered through hard-ground etching the most incredible method to extend my drawing.’

Head has long been fascinated by Nicolas Poussin and the project at Dulwich Picture Gallery, where Terminus Place 2012 is exhibited in the Poussin room opposite The Triumph of David c. 1631-33 focuses on his endeavour to make an independent painting which learns from the Poussin. Both share the desire to create multiple views in a single painting, to invent an expansive space, and to use light and colour to unify the work.  Head however draws on contemporary places that viewers are familiar with to resolve what he terms ‘the chaos in the urban environment’. ‘For space to function it has to reach a point of ease.’ These new spaces are very different from the reality of our surroundings, and it is through this unique invention that Head seeks an Arcadian alternative to our mundane reality. In this Head’s art is founded on a belief in art as an ideal, and he draws upon the aesthetic principles of Modernism and his interest in painters from the more distant past to help him define new realities.

Clive Head was born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1965 and lives and works in Yorkshire.  He has exhibited at Marlborough Fine Art 2007; Clive Head: Modern Perspectives, National Gallery, London 2010; Clive Head From Victoria to Arcadia is also at Dulwich Picture Gallery ( until 13 January 2013.

There is a fully illustrated catalogue with a text by Clive Head.  For further information please contact Geoffrey Parton /Frankie Rossi 0207 629 516 [email protected].

            Leicester Square (oil on canvas)







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