Pattern & Poise: Exhibition Catalogue

Page 1

Pattern & Poise

Paintings by Andrew

Sculptures by Simon

Denman Gudgeon 11


Pattern & Poise 24 November – 21 December, 2018 An exhibition of new paintings by US-based artist Andrew Denman and sculptures by Simon Gudgeon. Denman applies his uniquely stylized, symbolic, and contemporary approach to familiar animals, birds and livestock of rural England. Central to the show is the artist’s fascination with pattern, the juxtaposition of realism and abstraction, and a reverence for nature. His work will be complemented by Simon Gudgeon’s timeless, abstracted avian forms and other natural forms, which answer Denman’s whimsical wildlife portraits with the elegant hallmark reductivism that helped put his work, and Sculpture by the Lakes, on the map.

Sculpture by the Lakes Pallington, Dorset DT2 8QU 07720 637808



About the Show The life of an artist is as challenging as it is rewarding. Other artists will understand that this is not simply a career, but a way of living, one defined by a constant and naked vulnerability to all the beauty and ugliness the world has to offer. I have always been able to find such beauty amongst the chaos, and the act of sharing that through my work has led me to some extraordinary places around the world. England is one of those places, and I consider it my privilege and responsibility to create a body of work that even begins to express the inspiration I have found in her winding, hedge-hemmed roads, rich green meadows, starkly beautiful highlands and cities and towns steeped in history and significance. I am honoured and humbled for my work to hang alongside the beautiful sculptures of friend and fellow artist, renowned British sculptor Simon Gudgeon. The story of art history is very much a tale of how artists meet, interact, and influence one another, and my friendship with Simon has led to some fascinating and highly productive cross-pollination. Even the time I have spent wandering the grounds of the sculpture park, chasing after furtive glimpses of bird and beast or sitting in quiet contemplation of leaf, stem, and seed, have made an indelible impact on me as an artist and as a human being. Pattern & Poise is the perfect vehicle for us to showcase what we do and to invite the inevitable and interesting comparisons, both where our respective work converges and where it breaks entirely different ground. My own part of this two-man exhibition zeros in on a growing obsession of mine; pattern and repetition, both as it occurs naturally and in the context of the man-made. All abstraction, and consequently all pattern, ultimately sinks


its formative roots in a representation of nature, however distant or stylized. The familiar fleur-de-lis is actually a dramatically stylized lily or lotus flower, and even the most visually abstract fractal pattern is only a mathematical representation of the coils of a sea shell or the overlapping scales of a pine cone. Though my inspiration always begins with nature, my work presents animals through a conceptual and interpretive, rather than an objective and natural historical, lens. Drawing on influences from art history and popular culture, my goal is to explore nature, not as something precious and alien from human experience, but as a vital and lively aspect of day to day life. My animal subjects are nearly always disassociated from their natural environments. Seen in an entirely nonobjective context and often arranged in unexpected and fanciful ways, the viewer is forced to consider wildlife differently than he otherwise might. Sometimes we only truly see the familiar when it is made unfamiliar. I’ve often remarked that an artist is just an ordinary person who pays attention, and I consider it my responsibility to champion what others might overlook, from the commonest garden bird to the most ubiquitous of livestock. The result of that commitment is artwork both reverent and whimsical, broadly universal and uniquely personal. My work is less a commentary about the animal subject itself than about the symbolic import with which we imbue nature and the significant role it plays, both wholly practical and deeply spiritual, in our daily lives. Art offers the unique opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes. The representational artist does not copy what he sees any more than does the most flamboyant of abstractionists, but rather interprets his subjects through the lens of his own unique perceptions, translates that vision into his own private language, and ‘re-presents’ it to


the viewer, bringing something entirely new into the world. The colourful pattern of a feather, the nervous energy of a fox or a squirrel, the lithe fluidity of a cat, or the elegant curve of beak or bill are all springboards for metaphor. If, in the process of exploring that vast and internal realm, I can create something of lasting depth and beauty, I will count myself as supremely fortunate among men. With that, I invite you to enjoy Pattern & Poise and to find within its visual and tactile offerings, your own personal meaning and value.

-Andrew Denman, 2018


“Cursive” Long-Tailed Tit, 7 x 12” Acrylic on Board, £1,100

Please Note: Sizes listed for paintings by Andrew Denman are the dimensions of the actual artworks, not including the frames. However, all paintings in the show are sold framed and ready to hang.


“Modern Camouflage #6: Union Jack” Robin, 8 x 8” Acrylic on Board, £1,000


“Modern Camouflage #7” Wren, 8 x 8” Acrylic on Board £1,000


“Pinstripe” Kingfisher, 13 x 10” Acrylic on Board, £1,700


“String Theory” Blue Tits 18 x 7” Acrylic on Board £1,600


“This Little Piggy” Black Piglet, 8 x 10” Acrylic on Board £1,200


“Devon Diva” Large Black Sow, 14 x 18” Acrylic on Board £3,200


“White on Green” Sheep, 15 x 15” Acrylic on Board, £2,850


“Out of Sight Hound” Greyhound, 16 x 16” Acrylic on Board £3,250


“The Sneak” Fox, 11 x 14” Acrylic on Board, £2,000


“Marco Polo” Buff Silkie, 13 x 10” Acrylic on Board, £1,700


About Andrew Denman Known for his unique hallmark style that combines elements of realism, stylization and abstraction, Andrew Denman is at the forefront of an artistic vanguard of the best contemporary wildlife and animal painters working today. Born in California in 1978, Denman exhibited an early fascination for art and nature and a degree of commitment well beyond his years. At just thirteen years of age, he started teaching after-school art classes for children and soon went on to offer private art tutoring and workshops to artists of all ages. By age sixteen, he was exhibiting at Pacific Wildlife Galleries in Lafayette, CA, at the time one of the top commercial galleries for natureinspired artwork in the world. A BFA from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA, further fuelled his love of art and art history and helped transform his passion into a career. Early exhibitions, almost immediately following his college graduation, quickly cemented Denman’s reputation as a noteworthy new talent and attracted feature coverage in such publications as Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, Western Art & Architecture, International Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, American Artist, and Wildlife Art, among others. Since then, Denman’s work has toured nationally with Andrew Denman: The Modern Wild, a solo retrospective


show curated and directed by Dr. David J. Wagner, the highly regarded Birds in Art Exhibition, and the Society of Animal Artists, which has thrice honored Andrew’s work with Awards of Excellence. The artist is a regular participant in the Western Visions Exhibition at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY, an institution that named him the Lanford Monroe Memorial Artist in Residence for Winter of 2009. Denman’s work can be found in the National Museum of Wildlife Art, The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, WI, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, AZ, the Nature in Art Museum, Gloucester, England, and numerous private collections around the world. The artist maintains Denman Studios at his California home, which he shares with partner and fellow artist Guy Combes and their two canine companions, Ella and Enzi.




On Form Sculpture is all about form and birds have such beautiful lines that they are ideal subjects to abstract. Abstraction is all about keeping the essence of the subject whilst minimizing the detail, removing everything but the essential lines to portray the creature. Although all these sculptures are inspired by particular species, the process of minimizing the form often removes that link; it still looks like a bird but not necessarily one you would recognise. I like to have a diverse practice; the challenge of new ideas and new subjects is always inspiring and keeps my work fresh. As an artist I do not want to be compartmentalised as a ‘wildlife artist’, an ‘abstract artist’ or a ‘figurative artist’; instead I want the freedom to look at new subjects and new techniques and create art that people can respond to. All my work does have a common theme; they are explorations of abstraction and form, expressions of beauty that appeal to the senses. The work, however, must have a vitality and emotional appeal beyond aesthetics. That appeal must be independent of the object it represents and beyond the element of pure beauty. The object is just a medium for conveying that vitality and emotion. No true artist sees things as they really are; art is the projection of the imagination and should be free from any need to find reason or meaning in a subject. It is, above all, an interest in the shape and form that drives the artist. Where form is continuously refined towards simplicity and beauty, where the origin of cultures and species are explored, new ideas are developed, and the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.

-Simon Gudgeon, 2018 21

“Kingfisher on Branches” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 97 x 47 x 39cm, £5,500


“Long-Tailed Tits on Branches” Bronze Limited Edition of 12, 36 x 58 x 24cm, £5,500


“The Green Tunnel” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 37 x 33 x 10cm, £5,500


“Barn Owl on Steel” Bronze & Mild Steel Limited Edition of 12, 81 x 58 x 26cm, £9,500


“Curlew” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 37 x 43 x 12cm, £8,500


“Abstract Swan” Bronze, Limited Edition of 9 65 x 95 x 33cm, £25,000


“Luna” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 42 x 19 x 12cm, £4,250


“Isis” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 80 x 30 x 27cm, £25,500


“Hornbill” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 71 x 40 x 9cm, £9,500


“Reflection” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 116 x 53 x 33cm, £33,000


“Lyrebird” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 98 x 33 x 14cm, £12,500


“Lyrebird II” Bronze, Limited Edition of 7 178 x 62 x 30cm, £33,000


“Phoenix” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 32 x 62 x 9cm, £8,500


“Dancing Cranes” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 60 x 42 x 7cm, £14,500


“Flying Kingfisher” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 32 x 32 x 23cm, £5,500


“Geranos” Bronze, Limited Edition of 12 152 x 48 x 10cm, £19,500


About Simon Gudgeon One of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors, Simon Gudgeon has a signature smooth style that marvellously concentrates spirit and nature. His minimalist, semi-abstract forms depict both the movement and emotion of a moment captured with a visual harmony that is unmistakably his own. Born in Yorkshire in 1958, Gudgeon ‘lived deep in the countryside on the family farm, learning the essential arts of observation, evaluation and interpretation of how animals and birds behave, both with each other and man’. After studying law at Reading University, he practiced as a solicitor, starting painting only in his thirties and first exhibiting at London’s Battersea Exhibition Centre in 1992. An impulse purchase of artist’s clay at the age of 40 led into his new career as a sculptor, responding to what lay closest to his heart - the natural world. Since then Gudgeon has attained worldwide recognition, with exhibitions in London, New York, San Diego, Paris and the Netherlands. His works are featured in important private collections abroad and in the United Kingdom, including those of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Bedford and The Duke of Northumberland. In 2009, Gudgeon’s sculpture Isis was installed in Hyde Park, London, the first such installation there for over 50 years,


and within three years, three more monumental pieces were installed at 1 Hyde Park overlooking the Serpentine. He has work in the permanent collections of several prominent art museums in the USA, including the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and America’s National Museum of Wildlife Art, which named him featured artist for their prestigious 2010 Western Visions Exhibition. Gudgeon’s sculpture park, ‘Sculpture by the Lakes’ at Pallington in Dorset, provides a tranquil backdrop for his monumental finished pieces and houses convenient studio workshops. Since its inception, the park has continued to evolve like a living sculpture and now boasts multiple gallery spaces, a farm-to-fork restaurant, and pavilions that regularly host workshops, classes, concerts and corporate events. The park is a monument to the creative ambitions of the artist and his wife, Monique, who have transformed this beautiful corner of Southern England into a thriving hub of art and culture.


Pallington, Dorset DT2 8QU 07720 637808

All text and images are the sole intellectual property of Andrew Denman & Simon Gudgeon, respectively, and are protected by international copyright law.

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