The Alan Cristea Gallery presents Thirteen, an exhibition featuring new works by thirteen of the gallery’s most significant contemporary artists; Gillian Ayres, Christiane Baumgartner, Michael Craig-Martin, Dexter Dalwood, Ian Davenport, Marie Harnett, Howard Hodgkin, Ben Johnson, Julian Opie, Vicken Parsons, Lisa Ruyter, Paul Winstanley and Richard Woods.
Demonstrating a wide variety of artistic techniques, the show sees many of the artists building upon existing practice, resulting in works which are not merely ‘new’, but which represent the evolution of their creative approaches.
A leading figure in British abstraction, Gillian Ayres produces prints and paintings which hum with colour. She is known for her vibrant palette and the sheer physicality with which she applies paint to canvas. Thirteen will feature new painting and prints by the artist.
Christiane Baumgartner is best known for the monumental woodcuts based on her own films and video stills, often dealing with themes of war, speed and industry. This fusing together of centuries-old woodcutting technique with the contemporary technology of video combines the most recent and one of the oldest means of producing an image. For Thirteen the gallery will present Storm at Sea, a large-scale print developed from World War II documentary footage of debris crashing into the sea, the imagery hovering between figuration and abstraction.
Marie Harnett’s work similarly engages with film, capturing fleeting moments of on-screen emotion in delicately-executed pencil drawings. Intricately detailed works capture isolated scenes, removing them from their original context and establishing alternative narratives. Thirteen will include a new series of drawings by the artist based on the recent reinterpretation of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
A new series of six light boxes by Michael Craig-Martin represent the artist’s ongoing interest in the visual language of both everyday and ‘art historical’ objects. These ‘pictorial readymades’ are developed from the paintings currently on show at the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, which see Craig-Martin isolate his subjects on stark black backgrounds. This is only the second time that Craig-Martin's new works have been shown, following their debut at Art Basel 2013 earlier this year.
Julian Opie is one of the UK’s best known contemporary artists. A new series of acrylic editions referencing the traditions of equestrian art will be shown for the first time during Thirteen.
Ben Johnson is known for his detailed panoramic cityscapes and architectural paintings, made using a combination of computer-based drawing, airbrushes and stencils. A new painting will be exhibited in Thirteen, in advance of his solo exhibition at the gallery next year. Johnson recently exhibited at the National Gallery where he set up his studio to complete a special work representing the view from the roof of the National Gallery.
Considered to be one of Britain's most significant painters, Howard Hodgkin is also known for his prints, often executed on an enormous scale. Though his works appear spontaneous, they are in fact the result of an extensive process of layering etching and carborundum relief, finished with over-painting. Thirteen includes a new large-scale hand-painted print by the artist.
Ian Davenport is renowned for his exploration into the nature of materials and colour. In Thirteen the gallery will be showing works from a series of new etchings orchestrating combinations of fluid lines of colour which pool to form puddles at the bottom of the composition.
Richard Woods is known for his 'architectural interventions', which see him re-surface existing structures in an absurdist response to the cults of DIY and home improvement. Woods exaggerated depiction of building materials are executed in bright colours contained in dark, structural lines. Thirteen will feature a new site-specific work by the artist.
Thirteen will include a 2.5m wide semi-abstract painting by American artist Lisa Ruyter. Ruyter’s work always starts from her photography, which is resolved into line drawings. The subject is reduced to a few colour zones and the delineated areas are shaded with artificial hues that bear little or no relationship to the represented scenes.
Vicken Parsons produces small, intimate paintings executed in fine layers of oil on board. Her works depict both imagined and remembered landscapes and interiors, frequently focusing on the angular portions of architecture in which light and shadow meet. Thirteen will include three new paintings by the artist.
The exhibition will include recent work by Dexter Dalwood. Dalwood’s work melds together fragments of other artist's work with found imagery to create provocative and challenging compositions. His drawings, paintings, and prints stem from intricate small-scale collages which he then reworks into larger pieces, often re-imagining scenes from pop culture and modern history. Dalwood was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2010.
Thirteen will also feature a previously unexhibited painting by Paul Winstanley from his ‘Art School’ series. For this series Winstanley spent two summers documenting the empty studios of all of the art schools in the UK. The spaces captured have previously been overlooked and undocumented; the resulting images present minimal spaces of creative potential.