Arndt Art Agency (A3) is pleased to present a solo presentation by acclaimed UK artist, Christopher Le Brun, coinciding with Gallery Weekend Berlin 2017. This exhibition is the second solo show with Arndt after his 2016 exhibition at Arndt Fine Art in Singapore, and is presented in collaboration with Albertz Benda, New York.
Now Turn the Page features new oil paintings, and mixed media works on paper. With a career spanning almost four decades, Le Brun is regarded as one of the leading European painters of his generation. Having exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the United States, the show represents the artist’s first solo presentation in Berlin in almost a decade.
Dr. Barbara Rose writes: “…the current paintings … create mysterious images that marry surface with underpainting. In this new group of works we are intensely aware of the processes of erasure or obscuring by layering on paint, either with a palette knife or a variety of brushes. In some instances, the point of the knife has been used dramatically to draw into or cut away the surface. In this way the tension between covering and revealing that has always been an essential characteristic of Le Brun’s work……. continues to play a paramount role, creating drama and mystery as forms or images and passages are veiled.”1
The centre piece of the exhibition comes in the form of a commanding 4.4 m. wide painting, "The Herald's Note" (2016). With its concentrated areas of warm reds, yellows and vibrant blues this crowning achievement provides a dynamic symphony that unites all the elements of Now Turn the Page.
On Saturday 29th there will be a piano recital by Annie Yim of MusicArt London within the exhibition, featuring the music of Scriabin, Schoenberg, Rachmaninov and Debussy which has inspired the artist but also a recent commissioned composition by Richard Birchall, itself based on a painting by Le Brun. The performance is accompanied and interspersed by a conversation between artist and performer about painting and music which considers the many points of rich imaginative contact between musical and painterly composition.
Born in Portsmouth UK and trained at the Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art in London, Christopher Le Brun first gained public notice as the emerging bright star of English painting through his presence in Zeitgeist, the 1982 Berlin exhibition curated by Christos M. Joachimides and Sir. Norman Rosenthal at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, which introduced Neo-Expressionist figuration to an international audience. He was a prize-winner at the John Moores Liverpool exhibitions in 1978 and 1980, and included in the Venice Biennale in 1982. He worked in Berlin during 1987-88 as guest of the DAAD artist’s programme. Between 1990 and 2003 he served as a trustee of the Tate and subsequently of the National Gallery, a period which saw his involvement in the radical developments of Tate at Bankside, Liverpool and St. Ives. In recent years he has been a trustee of the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Royal Drawing School, which he helped to establish in 2000. In the same year he was elected Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy. He was elected President of the Royal Academy in December 2011. He is the 26th President since Sir Joshua Reynolds and the youngest to be elected since Lord Leighton in 1878.
Early in his career, he employed image, symbol and mythology at a time when Minimalism and formalist painting were in the ascendant. His work was then grouped with the painterly drama of an older generation that included Germans like Lupertz, Kiefer and Baselitz, but also the thoughtful landscape based abstractions of Per Kirkeby. In the intervening years it has become apparent that Le Brun has created a substantial and independent oeuvre that owes no clear debt to school or movement, such is his ability to renew and rethink for himself the central concerns of painting today. Many writers have nevertheless recognised that his work represents the spirit and continuity of European painterly romanticism.