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Common Ground Andrew Roberts Benjamin Hope


I Choose Not To Listen To That Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 15 × 15 cm, 5.9 × 5.9 ins


Andrew Roberts Benjamin Hope

Common Ground

Gallery Different London


FOREWORD In 1866 Paul Cézanne wrote a letter to the French novelist, Émile Zola, in which he stated, “All pictures painted inside in the studio will never be as good as the things done outside.” This is a sentiment I relate to. When I was ten years old I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and was mesmerized by the paintings of John Constable. But it was not his large, ‘finished’ Royal Academy canvases that grabbed my attention; it was his small, on-the-spot, landscape paintings. Created with energised brushstrokes they capture a moment in time, for as Constable observed, “No two days are alike, nor even two hours.” Of course, many artists prior to Constable had escaped the four walls of their studio to paint outside but, for me, he was the innovator. Prior to the early 1840s, when the tin tube with a screw cap was invented to retain manufactured paint, artists made their own colours by grinding and mixing dry pigments with linseed oil, which were then housed in glass syringes or pig bladders. The tube radically simplified painting en plein air, and as Auguste Renoir said, “Without tubes of paint, there would have been no impressionism.” My admiration of plein air painting has never diminished so I am particularly excited by Common Ground. I first became aware of Benjamin Hope’s work in 2013 when I saw his painting Teacups in the Financial Times at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and The Cape Gooseberry (Physalis) at the Royal Miniature Society Annual Exhibition. Both were still-life compositions created in the studio. However, in 2016 I discovered his plein air paintings at the New English Art Club Annual Open Exhibition. One was By the Crossing, Blackheath, a wonderfully evocative street scene and Sunset on the Heath, a joyous composition made up of dashes of fresh colour. For this exhibition Hope brings moments captured in Cambridge, Cornwall, Canada and his home city, London—all illustrating the endlessly changing effect of light. In Cambridge from Castle Mound (p. 4) and Squally Showers, St. Ives (p. 21), vivacious brushwork perfectly captures the dark, brooding skies, while the canvas, Queen Victoria Street, Wet (p. 42), skilfully encapsulates the cloud burst via highly effective reflections. Another aura is deftly recorded in One Blackfriars in Haze (p. 53), which with its blue palette and silhouetted building brings memories of Claude Monet’s celebrated canvases of the Houses of Parliament. Hope’s partner is from New Brunswick so visits are made to Canada at least once a year and the four works featured were inspired by trips made in 2018 and 2019. Trees against the snow add a dynamic element to the undulating terrain in Boxing Day Morning at The Eddys’ 1 and 2 (pp. 60-61), and both compositions work in both abstract and representational terms. Using predominantly strong and pale blues The Cottage (p. 58) might be the only pastel in the show but it highlights Hope’s dexterity and ability of portraying the quality of light. In all the works the handling of paint is animated, expressive, intuitive, and a delight on the eye. If memory serves me well, I think I first came across Andrew Roberts’s work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2011. Since then I have encountered his idiosyncratic, expressionistic works at the Mall Galleries, the most recent being at this year’s New English Art Club Exhibition. He is very much an impressionist painter and as he says: “I merely want a suggestion. I don’t like to tidy the paintings up too much because tidiness, of course, kills paintings, so I do try and leave things unperfected.” To me, Roberts’s philosophy is in harmony 2


with Claude Monet who said: “When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have in front of you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape.” Roberts’s bold, impasto and brushwork landscapes feel simultaneously contemporary while still rooted in the very best traditions of 20th century painting. Scanning Do I Even Want My Own Castle? (p. 28) one can truly sense the sun beaming down from the right and casting the pungent shadows on the roadway and in Going On A Recce (p. 9), Roberts admirably captures the patchwork patterns of the rolling Cornish rural vista. We Can’t Use That Type Of Sand In Surrey (p. 18) has a definite consciousness of structure, based on a pattern of diagonal and horizontal lines and reinforced by the reflection in the still, rich blue sea and the bold slabs of muted sand. Primarily painted using the palette knife, all Roberts’s compositions resonate energy and convert the terrain into abstract forms. During my nearly six decades of being involved in the art world, I have observed a number of changes in art fashion. Undoubtedly, the most extreme revolution came in the late 1980s with the group named the Young British Artists (YBAs), the commander-in-chief being Damien Hirst. Since its launch in 2003 the provocative art fair, Frieze London, has been at the vanguard of installation art and very much championed Marshall McLuhan’s claim, “Art is anything you can get away with.” However, this year’s event, which took place in October in Regent’s Park, had a different ambiance. The Art Newspaper had the headline: “Making a splash: painting is gold standard at Frieze” and went on to remark “This year’s Frieze London has a decidedly painterly feel. …brushwork is making a comeback.” Of course, for most of us it has never left and that is why we embrace Roberts’s and Hope’s work. In this show Roberts and Hope explore how two painters attracted to diverse subjects and painting styles can attain common ground. By painting plein air they both achieve an atmosphere of the day, or as Roberts likes to describe it, “painting the day”. Here we have two talents who have fine-turned their craft—I salute their artistic mastery. Anthony J Lester, Hon. RMS, FRBA, FRSA Member International Association of Art Critics : The Critics’ Circle Top: Bottom:

Cornhill Awnings (detail, p. 36) Benjamin Hope Going On A Recce (detail, p. 9) Andrew Roberts

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Cambridge from Castle Mound Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 Ă— 30.5 cm, 12 Ă— 12 ins 4


Winter Graduation Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 Ă— 30.5 cm, 12 Ă— 12 ins 5


The Tyranny Of Hope Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

Senate House Passage #1 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 38.1 × 25.4 cm, 15 × 10 ins

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Senate House Passage #2 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 50.8 Ă— 25.4 cm, 20 Ă— 10 ins 7


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I’m Ready To Put My Past Down Now Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

Going On A Recce Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

Like A Shit Backup Singer Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 9


We Who Listen To The Wind In The Trees Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 10


Waiting For You To Come Back To Us Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 100 × 100 cm, 39.4 × 39.4 ins 11


Your Struggle Is Worth It Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 15 × 15 cm, 5.9 × 5.9 ins

Building, Doing, Being Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

It’s Your Ring Tone, But It’s Not You Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 100 × 100 cm, 39.4 × 39.4 ins 12


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Blind And Outnumbered Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 15 × 15 cm, 5.9 × 5.9 ins

That Looks Funny In My Glasses Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

A Hobbesian Situation Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 100 × 100 cm, 39.4 × 39.4 ins 14


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She’s As Beautiful As The Boys Are Foolish Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 16


The Krispy Kreme Light Is On Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 17


We Can’t Use That Type Of Sand In Surrey Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 18


Get It On The Way Back From Tescos Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 19


Kiss Me So Softly I Could Fall Asleep Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 20


Squally Showers, St Ives Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 25.4 cm, 10 × 10 ins 21


Boats, St Ives Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 35.6 × 20.3 cm, 14 × 8 ins 22


Smeaton’s Pier Arches Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 38.1 cm, 10 × 15 ins

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He’s The Brother Of The Drummer Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 60 × 60 cm, 23.6 × 23.6 ins 24


Son Of The Founder Of The CIA Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 25


Hold Your Own Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 15 × 15 cm, 5.9 × 5.9 ins

You May Not Be Capable Of This Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

The Force Is Pulling Against Us Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 60 × 60 cm, 23.6 × 23.6 ins 26


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Do I Even Want My Own Castle? Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 28


One Marshmallow At A Time Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 60 × 60 cm, 23.6 × 23.6 ins 29


Living With Uncertainty Is Necessary Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 Ă— 30 cm, 11.8 Ă— 11.8 ins 30


I Want It For You Anyway Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

Suck Anything To Get The Sugar Out Of It Andrew Roberts Oil and pastel on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins

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You Always Sense It Could Happen Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 32


It Worked Out For Them Look Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 cm, 11.8 × 11.8 ins 33


Docklands Structure #1 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 Ă— 30.5 cm, 10 Ă— 12 ins 34


Blackheath Hill Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 30.5 cm, 10 × 12 ins

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Cornhill Awnings Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 40.6 Ă— 30.5 cm, 16 Ă— 12 ins 36


Cornhill Heatwave Benjamin Hope Oil on canvas, 63.5 × 50.8 cm, 25 × 20 ins 37


Atlas House Benjamin Hope Oil on canvas, 50.8 × 40.6 cm, 20 × 16 ins 38


Lombard Street Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 50.8 Ă— 25.4 cm, 20 Ă— 10 ins 39


St Paul’s from St Bart’s Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 38.1 × 25.4 cm, 15 × 10 ins 40


Queen Victoria Street, Evening, Towards Bank Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 35.6 × 30.5 cm, 14 × 12 ins 41


Queen Victoria Street, Autumn Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 76.2 × 63.5 cm, 30 × 25 ins

Queen Victoria Street, Wet Benjamin Hope Oil on canvas, 76.2 × 63.5 cm, 30 × 25 ins

The Trader Benjamin Hope Oil on canvas, 100 × 100 cm, 39.4 × 39.4 ins 42


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Cannon Street Railway Bridge Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 × 61.0 cm, 12 × 24 ins 44


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London and Tower #1 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 35.6 × 30.5 cm, 14 × 12 ins

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London and Tower #2 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 20.3 × 15.2 cm, 8 × 6 ins


London and Tower #3 Benjamin Hope Oil on canvas, 45.7 × 76.2 cm, 18 × 30 ins

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Southwark to Tower: Early Morning Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 25.4 cm, 10 × 10 ins

Southwark to Tower: Mid Morning Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 20.3 × 40.6 cm, 8 × 16 ins 48


Southwark to Tower: Afternoon Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 × 30.5 cm, 12 × 12 ins

Southwark to Tower: End of Day Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 25.4 cm, 10 × 10 ins

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The Barge #2 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 23.2 × 30.5 cm, 9.1 × 12.0 ins

The Barge #1 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 38.1 × 25.4 cm, 15 × 10 ins 51


Sunrise in One Blackfriars Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 3 × [20.3 × 20.3 cm, 8 × 8 ins]

One Blackfriars in Haze Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 25.4 cm, 10 × 10 ins 52


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Shard Eclipse Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 25.4 × 20.3 cm, 10 × 8 ins 54


The Shard and the Cathedral Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30 Ă— 22 cm, 11.8 Ă— 8.7 ins 55


She Had To Come And Get Me Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 10 × 15 cm, 3.9 × 5.9 ins

The Lights Go Out Without You Andrew Roberts Oil on canvas, 50 × 50 cm, 19.7 × 19.7 ins 56


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The Cottage Benjamin Hope Pastel on panel, 35.6 Ă— 45.7 cm, 14 Ă— 18 ins

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The Other Cottage Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 Ă— 35.6 cm, 12 Ă— 14 ins

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Boxing Day at The Eddys’ #1 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 × 15.2 cm, 12 × 6 ins 60


Boxing Day at The Eddys’ #2 Benjamin Hope Oil on panel, 30.5 × 15.2 cm, 12 × 6 ins 61


Benjamin Hope Benjamin studied mathematics and physics at university and has a PhD in nanoscience from the University of Cambridge. He became a full-time artist in 2011. Since then he has won a number of prizes and been elected a member of the New English Art Club and the Pastel Society. He is also an associate member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. His work is shown in galleries across the UK, and is held in private collections around the world. Although this show focuses on the outdoors, Benjamin is equally happy exploring still-life subjects and portraiture.

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Andrew Roberts Andrew studied at Wimbledon College of Art (199293), and the University of Hertfordshire School of Creative Arts (1993-96), before undertaking his MA in Fine Art at the University of Brighton (1996-98). His work has featured in a range of exhibitions, nationally and internationally, including in the Absolute Art Gallery, Bruges, Belgium (2004); Fairfax Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, UK (2007); Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, West Sussex, UK (2009, 2011); Fosse Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold, UK (2012); and the Edmund Gallery, Bury St Edmunds (2013). His recent group shows include The Alchemy of Paint, (Gallery 8, London, 2018), Capturing the Moment (Menier Gallery, London, 2018), and To The Fore (Silk Mill Studio, Frome, 2019). His solo shows include In All Its Glory, (Horsham Museum, West Sussex, 2015), and If Not Now, Then When (Whittox Gallery, Frome, 2018). Andrew has also shown in the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts; the annual open exhibitions of the Royal Society of British Artists, the New English Art Club and Chelsea Art Society; and the National Open Art Competition. His work is held in private collections across the UK. 63


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The artists would like to thank Katherine Eddy, Penny Harris, and Emma Walker.


Photography

Nicola Long (p. 62) Stephen Gammond (p. 63)

Gallery Different 14 Percy Street London, W1T 1DR andrewrobertsart.co.uk benjaminhope.net

Printed by Ex Why Zed © Andrew Roberts and Benjamin Hope 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, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Front: Andrew Roberts, Suck Anything To Get The Sugar Out Of It, oil and pastel on canvas, 30 × 30 cm Back: Benjamin Hope, Bus Stop MD, oil on panel, 30.5 × 15.2 cm Inside back: Benjamin Hope, Penzance Promenade Sunset #2, oil on panel, 16 × 16 cm


Gallery Different 14 Percy Street London, W1T 1DR andrewrobertsart.co.uk benjaminhope.net

Profile for Benjamin Hope

Common Ground  

Exhibition Catalogue for "Common Ground" by Benjamin Hope and Andrew Roberts

Common Ground  

Exhibition Catalogue for "Common Ground" by Benjamin Hope and Andrew Roberts