Three Wise Men at The Mayor Gallery, London, brings together three renowned artists and long standing friends of the gallery; Antony Donaldson, Patrick O’Reilly and Colin Self in a variance of mediums Painting, Collage and Sculpture. All three have collected and taken inspiration from popular culture in their careers creating their own visual imagery much loved around the world.
Antony Donaldson (b. 1939 London, England) came to prominence in 1962 as part of the first wave of the young generation of British Pop painters. Graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art; his exact contemporaries included David Hockney, Allen Jones, Derek Boshier and Peter Phillips. His subject is often the human figure; particularly the female body. His first solo exhibition in 1963, the first of many at the Rowan Gallery, led to his participation in the historic New Generation exhibition curated by Bryan Robertson at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in 1964 and to his inclusion in early books and survey exhibitions on Pop Art. In recent years he has featured in numerous major historical overviews of British and international Pop Art, including The Pop ‘60s: Transatlantic Crossing (Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, 1997), Pop Art UK (Galleria Civica di Modena, 2004), British Pop Art (Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, 2005) and When Britain went Pop (Christie’s, London, 2013).
Patrick O’Reilly (b. 1957 Kilkenny, Ireland) previously an entrepreneur, became an artist later in life whose personality and humour shines through in his unique bronze sculptures. He often references the animal kingdom to express his fears and sentiments about life, and uses the much-loved light-hearted figure of the bronze Teddy Bear to explore these darker issues. Monumental large scale public sculptures of O’Reilly’s can be found all over the world including the fifty-foot-high ‘Rockets’ in Dublin, a Strolling Bear in Paris and a bear wearing a tutu in Cape Town (‘Castle of Goodhope’, 2004) O’Reilly has exhibited widely and has had solo exhibitions in Ireland, the UK, France, Canada and China.
Colin Self (b. 1941 Norfolk, England) is a significant figure in British art history. He studied at Norwich School of Art before attending the Slade School of Art in London during the early 1960s, where he met fellow artists David Hockney and Peter Blake. Born during World War II, his earlier work demonstrated a sensibility to political issues and nuclear paranoia, making him the only British Pop artist to refer explicitly to the Cold War. A hoarder of found materials and imagery he uses collage to combine discarded material such as rail tickets, sweet rappers and advertisements to produce works which combine humour and whimsy with the darker issues of contemporary life and human behaviour. Exhibited widely Self including the recent The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern (2016) and in International Pop a touring exhibition at the Walker Art Centre, Dallas Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art (2015 - 2016).