Artists & Illustrators September 2023 - Sample Issue

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Exhibitions

THE BEST ART SHOWS TO VISIT FROM AUGUST ONWARDS

GWEN JOHN: ART AND LIFE IN LONDON AND PARIS

21 October 2023 to 14 April 2024

The Holburne Museum, Bath, is presenting a major exhibition, Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris in partnership with Pallant House Gallery, the first retrospective of the artist Gwen John (1876–1939) in 20 years.

While the critically acclaimed show at Pallant House chronologically traces Gwen John’s 40-year career, placing her art in relation to the two cities where she chose to live and

work, the Holburne show will also focus on the intense intimacy of the artist’s late work.

As well as many of Gwen John’s major paintings, the exhibition in Bath will introduce a significant number of her small works on paper, mostly from private collections and rarely seen in public. These tiny works demonstrate the artist’s fascination with the intimate minutiae of everyday life as well as with the mechanics of painting. Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney St, Bathwick, Bath BA2 4DB. holburne.org

WAVE: CURRENTS IN JAPANESE GRAPHIC ARTS

Until 22 October 2023

Discover the vibrancy and variety of Japanese graphic arts at WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts. Curated by artists Hiro Sugiyama and Takahashi Kintarō, the exhibition presents the work of 60 of Japan’s most significant graphic artists today, introducing many of them to the UK for the first time. WAVE offers UK audiences a rare opportunity to fully experience the diversity of expression within Japanese graphic arts. Japan House Gallery, 101-111 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA. japanhouselondon.uk

THREE GENERATIONS OF THE HILTON FAMILY

26 September to 5 October 2023

An exhibition of work across three generations of painters in the Hilton family has works spanning from Roger Hilton’s gouaches of the 70s, his son Bo Hilton’s abstract oil paintings and his grandson Jack Hilton’s explorations of history in figuration.

2 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London, W11 1NN. jackhilton.co.uk

10 ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS GWEN JOHN, MÈRE POUSSEPIN © THE HENRY BARBER TRUST, THE BARBER INSTITUTE OF FINE ARTS, UNIVERISTY OF BIRMINGHAM X PLANET BATTLES FLEEING HORSE, ACRYLIC AND PASTEL ON LINEN, 100X120CM, COURTESY JACK HILTON Sketchbook

TURNER AND BONINGTON: WATERCOLOURS FROM THE WALLACE COLLECTION

20 September 2023

to 21 April 2024

The Wallace Collection invites visitors to embark on a journey –from the rugged Yorkshire Dales to the grandeur of Venice. This odyssey is undertaken through a one-room exhibition of watercolour landscapes by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828), the first time the works have been on display for 17 years. The show brings together 10 works by the two artists: with four views of Yorkshire by Turner and five scenes of Normandy and Venice by Bonington.

The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN. wallacecollection.org

ASHMOLEAN NOW

Until 14 January 2024

The Ashmolean Museum’s renowned historical collections are the inspiration for two contemporary artists. The two simultaneous exhibitions feature paintings by critically acclaimed British artists Flora Yukhnovich and Daniel Crews-Chubb. The shows open the Ashmolean’s new exhibition series Ashmolean NOW, in which UK-based contemporary artists are invited to create new work inspired by the Ashmolean’s collections. Yukhnovich has created a powerful series of dramatic paintings featuring intense tones.

Crews-Chubb’s abstracted works are created through a laborious process of addition and revision. The result is energetic, textured paintings with a 3D quality. Despite stylistic differences, the work of both artists links inspirations from art history with a contemporary painterly language. Gallery 8, Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2PH. ashmolean.org

THE CROW FLIES

6 to 10 September 2023

A series of new large-scale paintings co-created by Stanley Donwood and Thom Yorke will be presented by TIN MAN ART in a two-part exhibition at Cromwell Place, the first of which is from 6 to 10 September, with a follow-up at the end of the year (from 6 to 10 December). The Crow Flies marks an important moment in the duo’s 30-year association, with a series of artworks that were made by both artists literally side-byside, painting at the same time. Tin Man Art Gallery, 4 Cromwell Place, London SW7 2JE. tinmanart.com

ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS 11
C. 1816 © THE
IS A
BIG SUN, COURTESY TIN MAN ART
J.M.W. TURNER, HACKFALL, NEAR RIPON,
TRUSTEES OF THE WALLACE COLLECTION FLORA YUKHNOVICH, HELL
TEENAGE GIRL, 2023 © FLORA YUKHNOVICH, COURTESY THE ARTIST AND VICTORIA MIRO
14 ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS

We present...

LEA LABOY

An artist who hopes to create her own oil paints with age-old recipes

Lea Laboy has always wanted to be a painter. Art has accompanied her ever since she can remember, thanks to her father who collected paintings. “Our family home resembled a prosperous art gallery in which academic landscape paintings dominated.”

Although she has been fond of paintings by various artists, “true love revealed when I saw William Turner’s paintings. I remember that moment very well when I saw his paintings for the first time. Turner’s work, for me, was so stunning – even breathtaking – with extremely beautiful colours and delightful movement of light, captivating beauty, for which I could not find words.”

Lea tends not to paint the same subjects. “My professor always told me, ask yourself: why are you doing this? And if you don’t find the answer, stop and change direction.” This is the motto she paints by and the reason she doesn’t recreate photographs from “glossy magazines.”

She also doesn’t follow any trends when it comes to art, which is what she believes sets her apart from other artists.

“It doesn’t lead to the development of artistic thought nor technique. All my paintings are based on the study of colour, light, composition and the relationships between them.”

She works as an artist with an emphasis on painting rather than earning. After graduating, she managed to collaborate with several galleries leading to various sales. “Individual clients also began to appear, for example, I had the pleasure of working for the resident consul and painting for the Head of the Holy See in the Vatican. I have also expanded my activities to include a scientific didactic publication and last year, I issued my first postage stamp and created the Ex Libris.”

Lea prefers to work in oil as it allows her to achieve ‘painting assumptions’ and she always chooses oil paints that “have preserved historical recipes, contain a high percentage of pigmentation and are lightfast. I also conduct research for creating my own oil paints using old recipes. I hope someday I can create my own paints.”

Her surroundings and environment do not influence her work and Lea always has specific goals in mind. Her paintings are primarily influenced by the quality of knowledge she can acquire and the ability to use it. “My primary task is to focus on work, which means that I need to be ready at the easel every day at six in the morning and still try to overcome my limitations to keep going even if – at the end of the day – it turns out that my efforts were not satisfactory and I have to start all over again.”

britishartclub.co.uk/profile/lea-laboy ▫

Persia, 2022, oil on cardboard, 60x80cm Still life in red, 2023, oil on cardboard, 58x82cm Moroccan Sardines, 2022, oil on cardboard, 70x80cm
This month’s spotlight
on a British Art Club member
ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS 15
Stradivarius, 2022, oil on cardboard, 84x100cm

Tania Rivilis

This artist paints vibrant portraits from her two studios in Germany and Portugal, hoping to capture the aura and true essence of a human soul, finds Ramsha Vistro

HOW I WORK IN THE STUDIO 16 ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS

I’ve changed my name so often, 2022, oil on pressed wood panel, 60x60cm

I came here with no expectations, only to profess, 2021, oil on panel, 50x70cm

18 ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS

When you lay your eyes upon Tania

Ravilis’ art, you are met with an amalgamation of vivid colours, merged through expressive strokes, creating intense portraits. The human soul is what she aims to capture, with its enigmatic – yet often predictable – nature, presenting a compelling canvas to encapsulate the aura of her sitters; an intangible embodiment of their existence.

In the beginning, these brush strokes were shy, guided by the sense of countless books by several Old Masters and their recreated works. But with each passing year, Tania’s movements became more assertive, with her palette embracing bolder colours. “I now take in the sheer joy of covering wooden panels and canvases with broad brush strokes, painting shadows with Deep U ltramarine or vivid Mars Orange. The journey has been magical.

“I tend to paint paired or group portraits and even when dealing with solitary gures, I emphasise the existence of a silent speaker beyond the canvas. My portraits invariably allude to ‘the other,’ as I rmly believe that a subject’s coherent image can only materialise through another’s gaze. Without this prism of perception, a portrait risks becoming an empty vessel, a mere assembly of external features. My goal is to transcend the super cial, to create art that doesn’t merely replicate a person’s physical appearance but mirrors their essence, their spirit. After all, true artistry lies not just in what the eyes see, but in what the soul feels.”

Tania has previously drawn inspiration from Lucian Freud, Maria Fortuny, Helene Schjer eck and Sam Szafran. “Frantisek Kupka’s The Yellow Scale (ca. 1907) holds a special place in my heart, as do the portraits by Carlos Federico Sáez. A pivotal moment in my artistic journey was coming across a photoshoot in the September 1985 issue of Architectural Digest, featuring Rudolf Nureyev in his Paris apartments. Those images signi cantly in uenced my artistic trajectory.”

Yet, she strives to contemporise these inspirations, infusing the palette with a sense of modern aesthetic: “a shimmering yet elusive lter of modernity,” as she calls it, aiming to re ect our era’s unique visual language while delving into the timeless depths of human emotion.

Tania’s family was never really into art. The creative world’s allure dawned upon her at 17, with a sudden, insatiable desire to absorb beauty and art. She would spend entire days wandering through museums – often clueless about what was before her – but utterly enchanted; engrossed in intricate details. “I’ve always had this gut feeling, this itch, that I had ▸

HOW I WORK IN THE STUDIO
ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS 19
TOP The Shifting Sands, oil on canvas, 32x32cm ABOVE Aylesbury Boy, 2023, oil on OSB, 20x20cm

something to express, something to say to the world. But I guess I wasn’t quite sure how to channel it. I was in my late 20s when I found my calling. I still chuckle at the memory of those early days, just me and my canvas, venturing into the unknown, discovering a language I didn’t know I could speak.”

Tania’s artistic journey began aged 27 when she moved to Germany to learn the language It was a turning point in her life, one that provided her with the time and space to discover the untapped depths of her creativity. “During this transformative period, I met my now husband, who nudged me towards painting. He gifted me my rst set of brushes and oil paints, and his unwavering support bolstered my con dence as I dipped my toes into this new world.

“I would moonlight as an artist, working on my pieces after-hours while holding down a day job. I began to discover and hone my unique visual language; a refreshing means to express myself. I often ask myself why it took me so long to start painting and I can’t help but wonder how di erent things might be if I’d picked up a brush at, say, 10.”

As her work began to get noticed by the likes of New York’s Arcadia Contemporary, Tania knew she was on the right path “This was a moment of reckoning that signalled the need for a signi cant leap: transitioning from a casual hobbyist to a professional artist. Since 2021, I have been living my dream, dedicating all my time to my art. It has been a rewarding journey, turning my life into a personal paradise. Who knew an artist’s studio could be a utopia?” she laughs.

“I’m fortunate enough to have two distinct creative spaces – in two di erent countries –with their own unique atmospheres. Each studio re ects a di erent facet of my life and work. The variation in environments and settings does wonders for my creativity and I cherish the uniqueness each space o ers.”

Tania’s cosy studio in Aachen, Germany is part of her home, exuding an inviting, old-world charm, lled with vintage furniture, old frames and countless paintings embellishing the walls. She often has a record spinning in the background – from her rather extensive vinyl collection ranging from classical music to David Bowie – adding to the eclectic ambience. A roof window o ers a view of the surrounding forest and beautiful sunsets that colour the horizon, and – as golden hour hits – her studio is basked in a warm-hued light. “My day here is primarily a day immersed in art, music and co ee.”

In contrast, her studio in Setúbal, Portugal is much more spacious, with high ceilings, giving her the room to work on larger canvases that she xes directly onto her walls. This studio has ‘secret’ access to the roof where Tania takes in the fresh air or indulges in a book. Her mornings here start with a cup of Portuguese ‘Cafe Pingado’ from a nearby cafe, before returning to her studio, turning on some music and preparing her paints to work throughout the day, breaking only for lunch or a game of tennis. Some days, Tania will begin her days with some sur ng, brimming with energy in the afternoon which she putsto good use by heading to her studio. “I always make a point to clean my brushes before leaving and wrap them in paper so that they greet me looking brand new, the following morning.”

Through her art, Tania hopes to capture moments of people realising that they are truly alive, engaged and present. “I want to remind people to occasionally come to a standstill and experience the present moment.

“My use of vibrant colour combinations and unconventional surfaces is what makes my work unique. Colourassists me in portraying the many facets and relationships that characterise my subjects and their connections in the ever-evolving world. It is through colour that I create a rippling e ect: a condensed and deepened volume of the environment in which the characters reside.”

Tania often works on plain plywood – a material with no inherent artistic expectations – which allows her to juxtapose intricately detailed backgrounds with the semitransparent quality of human skin, revealing inner vulnerabilities and individuality.

“For me, the material is a tool of symbolic expression and a method of metaphorising the visual. The poetic, aesthetic and characteristic details of an individual’s countenance might be meticulously composed, but their true self is determined by their moral compass, experiences and life journey. I believe this perspective is what distinguishes my work.”

taniarivilis.com ▫

It has been a rewarding journey, turning my life into a personal paradise
In the primal sympathy, 2021, oil on pressed wood panel, 80x60cm
20 ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATORS
Kyoto Twilight, 2023, oil on canvas, 150x150cm Covered Desires, 2023, oil on canvas, 50x70cm
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