Roy Oxlade emerged in the 1950s as one of a distinguished group of painters from under the wing of David Bomberg, and has remained faithful to the principles of immediacy, the authenticity of the brush mark and truth of feeling. He talks of the process of painting as being akin to a performance, like jazz improvisation: risky, spontaneous and yet disciplined, a meeting between the external world and the vision within.
This exhibition of paintings and drawings is not a retrospective but a spontaneous celebration; an attempt to expand our understanding of Roy Oxlade, now in his 84th year, by bringing together a selection of some of his very best paintings and drawings, old and new in a spirit of celebration.
Describing his work and the issues that concern him as a painter he writes that ‘Painting to me is like a room of the imagination. It’s up to me what I do with it. I choose its size and its materials – usually canvas and oil paint. At the beginning its relationships don’t amount to much – it’s a rectangle in a jumble of art history I relate to. There would not be much fun in leaving the room empty, a passive – one colour field – a blank canvas. And entirely abstract forms place too many restrictions on dialogue. So I have put in some other stuff, some characters, some actors – tables, pots, colours, easels, lamps, scribbles, figures and faces to interact with each other. I adjust the temperature, open the windows, shut the windows, throw things out, change the lighting.’
Roy Oxlade had his first one-man exhibition in Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada in 1963 and has since shown regularly in London and the UK at Odette Gilbert Gallery, Reed’s Wharf Gallery, Gardner Centre Gallery, University of Sussex and since 2004 at Art Space Gallery. Group exhibitions include the John Moores, Hayward Annual and EAST International. His monograph David Bomberg was published by the Royal College of Art (1973). He was Chairman of Trustees of the Peter Fuller Memorial Foundation (1996 – 2007) and Editor of the Foundation’s Journal, Blunt Edge. As a writer he has contributed regularly to Blunt Edge, Modern Painters, Art Monthly the London Magazine and in 2010 Ziggurat Books published Art & Instinct, Selected Writings of Roy Oxlade.
Art Space Gallery
Michael Richardson Contemporary Art
84 St.Peter's Street
London N1 8JS United Kingdom
Ph. +44 (0)20 73597002
Tuesday - Saturday
From 11am to 6pm