Shapero Modern in conjunction with Sladmore Contemporary is delighted to present Still Reading, an exhibition of paintings by Nancy Cadogan and sculptures by Martin Jennings. Cadogan’s oil paintings of books are shown alongside bronze maquettes and busts from Jennings's statues of literary figures. Cadogan’s paintings engage with ideas of time and a private dialogue with literature. The genesis for the series originates from 2011, when she made her first book paintings for the London Antiquarian Book Fair. They capture the immense potential and excitement of reading and the possibilities of language within their diminutive scale. In one sense, the works are typical of the still life genre and record a sense of time passing. In another, they reflect on the concept of stillness more widely, as a rare condition within our hyper-networked contemporary reality, and instead celebrate quiet reflection.
As Cadogan has stated, ‘The book – the actual physical paper bound object full of words – is a treasure in this modern era. A book contains an entire universe you can only bring to life in your imagination, if you agree to give it time. It is a tribute to privacy, an honouring of the interior life.’
Nancy Cadogan is a British-American figurative painter. Her work ranges from still life to landscapes and portraits, and is notable for its combination of a traditional painterly style with an almost abstract approach to her subject matter. She was named as one of the 'Top 20 New British Art Talents' by Tatler magazine in 2008, describing her as ‘the new Paula Rego’. In 2016, Cadogan exhibited across the United States with Art | Bastion (Miami, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach), and participated in the group show, The Blue Edition, at AH Studios in London. Previous solo exhibitions include with Frost and Reed, New York (2004 and 2005), and with Sladmore Contemporary, London (2008). Her work is in numerous private collections.
In 2017, alongside artists including Tracey Emin, Rachael Whiteread and Cornelia Parker, she was one of 93 women artists chosen to exhibit their work in The Ned, London, in its permanent Vault 100 exhibition that highlights the disparity between women and men CEOs. She lives and works in South Northamptonshire.
Martin Jennings lives and works in Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He has made many carved stone lettering inscriptions and bronze portrait sculptures and now concentrates on public statues. He has been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster, the University of Oxford and many other public and private institutions both in this country and abroad. He is widely recognised as one of the best sculptors of public statues working today.
Jennings has sculpted many prominent figures from the worlds of politics, the military, royalty, academia, literature, industry, medicine and the law. His statue of John Betjeman at St. Pancras station is now a celebrated London landmark adored by the travelling public. There is a magnificent statue of the poet Philip Larkin by Jennings in Hull city centre. In 2014 he made Britain's first statue of Charles Dickens for Portsmouth. A monument to the pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe has recently been completed for East Grinstead as well as a sculpture of the Women of Steel in Sheffield city centre. Jennings’s towering monument on London's South Bank to the Crimean War heroine Mary Seacole was unveiled in 2016 to great public acclaim. A dynamic statue of George Orwell by Jennings is shortly to be unveiled at BBC Broadcasting House in central London.
Jennings’s work has received much coverage in the national press over recent years and has featured regularly on radio and television.