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GARY WRAGG Early works 1968 -1969 6 – 26 May 2010

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

22 Mason’s Yard T: +44 (0)20 7930 1262

Duke Street St. James’s M: +44 (0)7833 694 331

London SW1Y 6BU E: contact@alanwheatleyart.com

United Kingdom W: alanwheatleyart.com


Gary Wragg at the South London Art Gallery, November 1968 at the time of receiving the Lord Carron Prize from Bryan Robertson

‘The wonderful thing about one’s painting output is that it is never just in the past the past is always there to be continued nourishment for present innovations.’ Gary Wragg


MY WATERCOLOURS 1968/69

From the summer of 1968 to the spring of 1969 I worked on five folios of watercolours, eighty-two works in total. They primarily investigated the activity of the edge in relation to open fields of colour, small accents of colour and shape in relation to large central colour areas. At the time, in mainstream colour field painting, these were some of the major concerns. My watercolours were direct statements of applying watercolour to watercolour paper, often including shapes and sensations of colour from my immediate workplace, that would have been painted at home in a domestic space, or in the studio. They were essentially works of an intimate nature, as much as anything playing with the beauty of the medium itself and retaining its freshness and simplicity. There were two sizes of paper. Often areas small and large were pencilled in to begin, then the colour applied. As each work developed, a specific feel for light and colour emerged, not quite knowing what to expect or where they were going. The colours related to the day, the light of the moment, the feel of place, igniting colour combinations, placement, accents and organization of spacing and divisions, and some unknown areas too. The watercolours developed in groups: vertical edges, horizontal edges, vertical and horizontal edges, tilting central planes with wedge edges, and diagonal perspective divisions. Others played with grid divisions and some with undulating bands and edges. These groups were not just a notion of abstraction, but a very simple feeling for putting together something as yet to be realised. I preferred to use tubes of watercolour, rather than the little cubes in a set, and squeezed the paint on directly they felt so right and English. It was an inspiration to feel that our wonderful tradition of watercolour painting still had some real life in it, albeit that at this time mainstream formal concerns of centre and edge were major influences, particularly Jules Olitski and Mark Rothko. The borders and flatness of Persian miniatures, the movement of Matisse’s Dance and Paul Klee’s playfulness were all part and parcel incorporated in the fun. The layers of translucent paint, the substance they realised in terms of atmospheric colour and light ultimately were the criteria of, and clue as to when to leave a work. These works paralleled larger acrylic canvases, helping to traverse numerous options and possibilities of the group of work in progress, to embrace tradition and contemporary painterly concerns. The wonderful thing about one’s painting output is that it is never just in the past - the past is always there to be continued nourishment for present innovations.

Gary Wragg April 2010


PAINTINGS


1 Light Green Interior 1968 Acrylic on linen 102 x 84 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


2 Salmon Pink Interior 1968 Acrylic on cotton duck 102 x 76 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


3 Blue/Grey Interior 1968 Acrylic on cotton duck 107 x 86.5 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


4 Peach Interior/Exterior 1969 Acrylic on cotton duck 35 x 30 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


5 Tan Interior/Exterior 1969 Acrylic on cotton duck 35 x 30 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


6 Olive Green Interior/Exterior 1969 Acrylic on cotton duck 35 x 30 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


7 Dancing Ochre 1968/1969 Acrylic on cotton duck 166 x 165 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


8 Dancing Yellow 1969 Acrylic on canvas 166 x 165 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


9 Horizontal Edges 1969 Acrylic canvas 173 x 173 cm Signed, inscribed and dated verso


WATERCOLOURS


10 Composition #1 August 1968 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


11 Composition #2 August 1968 Watercolour 20.5 x 30.5 cm Signed and dated verso


12 Composition #3 August 1968 Watercolour 21 x 31 cm Signed and dated verso


13 Composition #4 August 1968 Watercolour 21.5 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso


14 Composition #5 August 1968 Watercolour 21 x 30.5 cm Signed and dated verso


15 Composition #6 August 1968 Watercolour 20 x 30.5 cm Signed and dated verso


16 Composition #7 August 1968 Watercolour 20.5 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso


17 Composition #9 August 1968 Watercolour 21 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso


18 Composition #10 August 1968 Watercolour 20.5 x 31 cm Signed and dated verso


19 Composition #11 August 1968 Watercolour 20.5 x 30.5 cm Signed and dated verso


20 Composition #12 August 1968 Watercolour 21.5 x 31 cm Signed and dated verso


21 Composition #13 August 1968 Watercolour 20 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso


22 Composition #14 August 1968 Watercolour 21 x 30.5 cm Signed and dated verso


23 Composition #15 August 1968 Watercolour 21 x 30.5 cm Signed and dated verso


24 Composition #16 August 1968 Watercolour 21 x 31.5 cm Signed and dated verso


25 Composition #17 August 1968 Watercolour 21.5 x 31 cm Signed and dated verso


26 Composition #18 August 1968 Watercolour 21.5 x 31.5 cm Signed and dated verso


27 Composition #19 August 1968 Watercolour 20 x 30 cm Signed and dated verso


28 Composition #20 October 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


29 Composition #21 October 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


30 Composition #22 October 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


31 Composition #23 October 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


32 Composition #24 October 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


33 Composition #25 November 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


34 Composition #26 November 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


35 Composition #28 November 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


36 Composition #29 November 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


37 Composition #30 November 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


38 Composition #32 November 1968 Watercolour 36 x 55 cm Signed and dated verso


39 Composition #33 December 1968 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


40 Composition #34 December 1968 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


41 Composition #36 December 1968 Watercolour 21.5 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


42 Composition #37 December 1968 Watercolour 22.5 x 32.5 cm Signed and dated verso


43 Composition #39 December 1968 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


44 Composition #40 December 1968 Watercolour 22.5 x 32.5 cm Signed and dated verso


45 Composition #42 December 1968 Watercolour 22.5 x 32.5cm Signed and dated verso


46 Composition #43 December 1968 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


47 Composition #44 December 1968 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


48 Composition #45 January 1969 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


49 Composition #46 January 1969 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


50 Composition #47 February 1969 Watercolour 23.5 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


51 Composition #49 February 1969 Watercolour 22.5 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


52 Composition #50 February 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


53 Composition #51 February 1969 Watercolour 23.5 x 33.5 cm Signed and dated verso


54 Composition #54 March 1969 Watercolour 22.5 x 32.5 cm Signed and dated verso


55 Composition #55 March 1959 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


56 Composition #56 March 1969 Watercolour 22.5 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


57 Composition #60 April 1969 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


58 Composition #61 April 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


59 Composition #62 April 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


60 Composition #63 April 1969 Watercolour 22.5 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


61 Composition #64 April 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33.5 cm Signed and dated verso


62 Composition #65 May 1969 Watercolour 23.5 x 33.5 cm Signed and dated verso


63 Composition #66 May 1969 Watercolour 23.5 x 34.5 cm Signed and dated verso


64 Composition #67 May 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33.5 cm Signed and dated verso


65 Composition #68 May 1969 Watercolour 23 x 32.5 cm Signed and dated verso


66 Composition #69 May 1969 Watercolour 22 x 32 cm Signed and dated verso


67 Composition #70 May 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


68 Composition #71 June 1969 Watercolour 23.5 x 33.5 cm Signed and dated verso


69 Composition #72 June 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


70 Composition #73 June 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


71 Composition #74 June 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


72 Composition #75 June 1969 Watercolour 23 x 33 cm Signed and dated verso


73 Composition #77 June 1969 Watercolour 32 x 47 cm Signed and dated verso


74 Composition #78 June 1969 Watercolour 32 x 47 cm Signed and dated verso


75 Composition #79 June 1969 Watercolour 32 x 47 cm Signed and dated verso


76 Composition #81 June 1969 Watercolour 32 x 47 cm Signed and dated verso


77 Composition #82 June 1969 Watercolour 32 x 47 cm Signed and dated verso


INDEX PAINTINGS 1. Light Blue Interior

1968

Acrylic on linen

102 x 84 cm

2. Salmon Pink Interior

1968

Acrylic on cotton duck

102 x 76 cm

3. Blue/Grey Interior

1968

Acrylic on cotton duck

107 x 86.5 cm

4. Peach Interior/Exterior

1969

Acrylic on cotton duck

35 x 30 cm

5. Tan Interior/Exterior

1969

Acrylic on cotton duck

35 x 30 cm

6. Olive Green Interior/Exterior

1969

Acrylic on cotton duck

35 x 30 cm

7. Dancing Ochre

1968/69

Acrylic on canvas

166 x 165 cm

8. Dancing Yellow

1969

Acrylic on canvas

166 x 165 cm

9. Horizontal Edges

1969

Acrylic on canvas

173 x 173 cm

WATERCOLOURS

Paper size:

10-27. August 1968

25.5 x 35.5 cm

Composition #

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

28-32. October 1968 Composition #

36 x 55 cm 20

21

22

23

24

25

26

28

29

30

33-38. November 1968 Composition #

36 x 55 cm 32

39-47. December 1968 Composition #

25.5 x 35.5 cm 33

34

45

46

36

37

39

40

42

43

48-49. January 1969 Composition #

25.5 x 35.5 cm

50-53. February 1969 Composition #

25.5 x 35.5 cm 47

49

50

54

55

56

51

54-56. March 1969 Composition #

25.5 x 35.5 cm

57-60. April 1969 Composition #

25.5 x 35.5 cm 60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

61-67. May 1969 Composition #

25.5 x 35.5 cm 68

69

70

68-77. June 1969 Composition #

44

36 x 55 cm/25.5 x 35.5 cm 71

72

73

74

75

77

78

79

81

82


Gary Wragg was born in High Wycombe, in 1946, where he grew up and attended a local art school before moving to London. There he studied first at Camberwell School of Art, where he won Rotary Travelling Prize to Florence and Rome as well as Lord Carron Prize presented by Bryan Robertson. He continued at Slade School of Art and won a Travelling Scholarship to USA and Mexico which he took in 1972. Wragg’s trips to America to visit Jack Tworkov, between 1971 and 1974, and time he spent with Willem de Kooning in 1985, were significant in his artistic development. His first one man exhibition was held at Acme Gallery, London in 1976, followed by another successful show in 1979. Between 1980 and 1989 he exhibited regularly at the Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London, and from 1996 he has held a series of important exhibitions at Flowers East, London, Los Angeles and New York. He was artist in residence at the Montmiral School of Painting, France between 1997 and 2004, and in Alayrac in 2005. In his work Wragg explores a traditional lineage of Poussin, Rubens, Goya, Delacroix, Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse and de Kooning. Since the late seventies Wragg’s love for painting has integrated with his passion for Chinese martial art, Tai Chi. Wragg has found gestures and controlled rhythms of the discipline parallel in the painting and his work changed from the vocabulary and legacy of Abstract Expressionism to energy painting and the exploration of complimentary and disparate interactivity.

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Arts Council of Great Britain Barclays de Zoete Wedd, London Contemporary Arts Society, London DeBeers Consolidated Mines, London Eastern Arts Association, Leicester The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Leicestershire Education Committee, Glenfield Museum of Modern Art, New York National Gallery of South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa Pompidou Centre, Paris, France Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham Saatchi Collection, London Slade School of Art Collection, London St. Pancras Library, London Tate Britain, London University College, London Victoria & Albert Museum, London


AWARDS 1968 1968 1972 1975 1978

Rotary Travelling Prize to Florence and Rome Lord Carron Prize Boise Travelling Scholarship to USA and Mexico Arts Council grant London Arts Association grant

TEACHING / LECTURING 1972-93 Camberwell School of Art, London 1971-88 Portsmouth Polytechnic 1975-97 St. Martin's School of Art, London 1994-95 Slade School of Fine Art, London 1971-96 Visiting Lecturer: Chelsea School of Art, London; Slade School of Art, London; Bath Academy of Art 1995-96 Tate Education Department Special Projects: A Dialogue with de Kooning, Figuring Cézanne 1998 Tate Education Department Special Projects: Jackson Pollock Exhibition 1999 Drawing Masterclass, Classic Cézanne Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2001 Cézanne Lecture, Newcastle University 2004 Drawing Marathon, Studio School, New York

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 1976 Acme Gallery, London 1978 Newcastle Polytechnic Art Gallery 1979 Acme Gallery, London Peterloo Gallery, Manchester 1982 Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London 1983 Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry 1984 Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London Castlefield Gallery, Manchester 1986 Nicola Jacobs Gallery, London 1989 Jean Wainwright, Chiswick Open Studio, Hackney, London 1989-94 Studio Show, West Hampstead, London 1990 Goldsmiths Gallery, London 1991 Gallery 10, London 1996 Works on Paper, Gallery M, Flowers East, London 1997 Flowers East, London 1999 Flowers East, London King Street Gallery, Sydney, Australia 2000 The Quiet Paintings, Flowers East, London 2003 Flowers Central, London Studio Show, Vyner Street, London 2006 Burgh House, Hampstead, London 2008 Flowers East, London Mason’s Yard Gallery, London


Front cover: Dancing Ochre (cat.7)

Published by Alan Wheatley Art © ALAN WHEATLEY ART, 22 Mason’s Yard, Duke Street St. James’s, London SW1Y 6BU All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without first seeking the written permission of the copyright holders and of the publisher.

Images © Alan Wheatley, Gary Wragg Essay © Gary Wragg Catalogue design by Iwona Chroscielewska


____________________________________________________________________________________ 22 Mason’s Yard T: +44 (0)20 7930 1262

Duke Street St. James’s M: +44 (0)7833 694 331

London SW1Y 6BU E: contact@alanwheatleyart.com

United Kingdom W: alanwheatleyart.com

Profile for Alan Wheatley

GARY WRAGG: Early Works 1968-1969  

2010 Exhibition at Alan Wheatley Art

GARY WRAGG: Early Works 1968-1969  

2010 Exhibition at Alan Wheatley Art

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