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Resonance FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 1


Please note • This brochure illustrates only a representative sample of the full show which comprises over 50 paintings. The full exhibition can be viewed on the following website as from noon on Wednesday 10th October;

www.gullaneartgallery.co.uk

• Paintings are for sale and maybe reserved prior to the opening of the exhibition and viewed by appointment with the gallery.


proudly presents

Resonance JACK MORROCCO

his Major solo exhibition of 2012

Saturday 13th October – Saturday 4th November 2012

www.gullaneartgallery.co.uk


1 • Afternoon Heat, Tuscany • 24”x30” • Oil on canvas

2 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


Foreword

It has been some two years since we held Jack Morrocco’s ground-breaking (and record-breaking) solo show “Timeless” and launched his book that I wrote entitled “Jack Morrocco… A work in progress”. In that time, both he as an artist and we as a gallery have moved on, and that is reflected in this, his major exhibition for 2012 that he has called “Resonance”. Any successful artist constantly faces a dilemma – how to balance ongoing demand for an established style and/or subject matter of work, with the urge to explore new developments in both.

In Jack Morrocco’s case, the demand for his paintings of the South of France and his still life works of silverware, flowers and glass, is as strong today as it was even when we held his last sell-out show in 2010. Yet as a painter his creative requirements need to be fulfilled, and new subjects and how to creatively and technically treat them, is as fundamentally important to his ongoing development as are the commercial realities of satisfying the demands of his increasing popularity. A balance has to be achieved that addresses the need to satisfy, as best one can, both sides of the equation. And that is where the artist and his dealer have to come together in staging a solo show, with a clear understanding of these dynamics, and the need to communicate them successfully to their wider audience. It is also the benefit of a major

solo show, as the number of paintings involved allow for part of the exhibition to include new developments and new creative expression. Hence, in this exhibition of 50 plus paintings we accommodate the Morrocco trademark pieces across his favoured genres of Provence landscapes, South of France café scenes, Venice townscapes, traditional still life and contemporary studio still life works. These are as strong and as joyous as ever. However, in addition, we are proud to present for the first time, a number of paintings of Tuscany, of Lucca and the Ligurian coast as well as new locations for the artist such as Canal du Midi in South west of France. These new subjects bring fresh perspectives, new technical challenges, with different light, colour tones, feature architecture, and, importantly, ambiance. In the Author’s Foreword to his book I mentioned that I considered Jack Morrocco to be an artist that future generations would look back upon with a measure of admiration and of having significant influence. I have not altered that view, and perhaps if you call in to see this exhibition for yourself, you will understand why. Finally, whilst writing Jack’s book, I also penned a number of poems inspired by his paintings. Two are included within these pages, and I hope you enjoy them.

Roy McGregor

FOREWORD • 3


Resonance The Scottish realist painter Peter Collins once told me “a photograph might tell you what an apple looks like but a painting should tell you what it tastes like”.

of the scene I hope to strike a visual chord, creating this resonance of a remembered atmosphere and hopefully place the viewer within the scene or their memory of a similar scene.

A worthy aspiration for any painter if not taken too literally, yet it is within the power of oil painting to be able to go further than just the visual and to evoke a response in the viewer of sensations and emotions beyond the surface of the canvas, in the same way as a particular sound or distinctive smell can bring to mind a time or place. The aroma of cigar smoke outdoors will instantly transport me back to my first visit to Paris as a child, a difficult place to reach by other conscious means, and occasionally on hearing certain songs from my earlier years I am unexpectedly presented with an image of an exact time and place where I first heard it.

With still life too I hope to create a harmony, a series of visual notes, by balancing texture, shape, colour and rhythm composing a whole which I hope resonates with the viewer even if only subconsciously. There are few if any books which will tell you why duck-egg blue, venetian red and light mars violet for instance, not only co-ordinate but create a resonance beyond the sum of the individual parts. Or why the visual tension created where a crescent meets its tangent will fascinate the eye. It is this resonance that helps me identify the “happy accidents” that will often occur with colour and shape combinations, or even with the shapes and spaces between objects within my work.

It is perhaps in an attempt to tap into this phenomenon that I choose subjects such as the shimmering dappled light in French café scenes or the tranquillity of a Venetian canal which I hope will resonate with the viewer. By eliminating the peripheral detail and painting the essence

When I hear reports that someone viewing my work has said “that painting speaks to me” or “those colours really sing” or even “it’s just like being there – I can feel the heat”, then I know that they have felt that resonance and the painting has made a successful connection.

4 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


2 • Apres Midi, Tourtour, Provence • 24”x36” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 5


3 • Place aux Herbes, Uzes, Late Afternoon • 26”x30” • Oil on canvas

6 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


4 • Cours Mirabeau, Aix en Provence • 24”x30” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 7


5 • Autumn Lunch, Le Cannet • 20”x30” • Oil on canvas

8 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


6 • L’Esplanade, Montpellier • 20”x30” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 9


Each year I seem to venture further from my base in the Cote d’Azur to new areas of France and Italy. Last year saw a return to an idyllic small town in south central France called Uzes. A short trip there the previous year had suggested there might be more to paint and I was not disappointed with the changes seen throughout the days and in particular the unique timeless quality of the central square Place Aux Herbes which looks almost unchanged in over six hundred years. This year I went on further west to the area around Montpellier and BÊziers basing myself in a charming small town of Pezenas. From here I was able to reach the south east stretches of the Canal du Midi which I felt sure would give me new inspiration, having as it does both dappled light and reflections. From the few short kilometres I was able to cover I saw huge potential, not least in the fact that there were over 200 kilometres still to see. There is however a sad note which will inject a certain urgency to my coverage of the canal and that is that the plane trees which line both sides of the canal are becoming decimated by a waterborne virus and are all destined to die, changing the character of the canal for the foreseeable future.

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7 • Plane Tree Shade, Uzes • 20”x20” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 11


8 • September Sunlight, Cabris • 20”x20” • Oil on canvas

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9 • L’Esplanade, Montpellier • 20”x20” • Oil on canvas


10 • Place aux Herbes, Uzes, Evening Light • 24”x30” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 13


The Wonder of Provence With heaven’s rays this region’s blessed Such light and shade, this place caressed Such character and atmosphere At first they call, then pause, some even settle here To draw, to paint, or merely just to soak it in The market town, the narrow street; café, bar, ornate fountain Under Plane tree canopy, observing nuance They draw and paint this haven; they draw and paint Provence Each locale with churches, squares, perhaps a market Varied interest, but rich in subject With stalls of produce, crafts, clothes, fruit and flowers With time to stroll, explore, and chat, and pass away the hours At street café, a glass of wine, beneath the tables’ parasols Let time slip by, until it yields, and daily nature’s curtain calls Then the world and local life meet up, joyful circumstance To celebrate the wonder, to celebrate Provence They’ve all been here, so many names, great Masters of the easel En plein air, in studio, feasting on this region’s table Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Picasso Scots Colourists, right up to date – of course today’s Morrocco Their aims, their works, their legacy, give ample testimony Inspire; give visual treat to us, and to so very many Their art to us, our times enrich, enliven and enhance Through them the whole world now can see – the wonder of Provence 14 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance

RM


11 • Autumn Promenade, Cannes • 22”x24” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 15


12 • La Place, St Paul de Vence • 16”x16” • Oil on canvas

16 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance

13 • L’Esplanade, Montpellier (study) • 12”x16” • Oil on canvas


14 • Shaded Mooring, Canal du Midi, near Colombiers • 18”x24” • Oil on canvas

FRENCH LANDSCAPES • 17


15 • Silver Teapot and Oriental Lilies • 20”x24” • Oil on canvas

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16 • Pink Lilies, Peonies and Silver Pot • 28”x28” • Oil on canvas

TRADITIONAL STILL LIFE • 19


17 • Silver on Turquoise • 16”x16” • Oil on canvas

20 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


18 • Rhododendrons and Silver Coffee Pot • 20”x24” • Oil on canvas

TRADITIONAL STILL LIFE • 21


Still is the Life we Live Today I am a Lily, not quite opened out I’ll soon fill the room with scent; it’s what I’m all about I’m in a vase; I’m centerpiece, with other things around Like fruit and glass and silverware; coloured fabric that he’s found He calls it composition, the man behind the brush He looks at me in studied stare, does nothing in a rush He sometimes screws his eyes to see me in a different light His brushes on the canvas, strokes that capture fancy flight I need to last a day or two before my time is done Until his brushwork’s over, his smile, approval won For then I’ll know he’s satisfied, my job at last complete Our lives were still, our moment caught, my petals at his feet Our essence was to act as one, to be for viewing pleasure Colours vibrant, graceful shapes, rich and shadowed texture Our time was short, yet framed for years we’ll last, and give Some joy, because we’re timeless now; still is the life we live. RM

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19 • White Lilies and Silver Ewer • 28”x28” • Oil on canvas

TRADITIONAL STILL LIFE • 23


I have visited Italy many times over the years but since I started painting landscape I have only really worked in Venice and Portofino.

But it was the departure from my comfort zone of the built environment; the townscape, the café’s and markets that gave me what I think might be a bridge to true landscape painting.

So it was with a fresh eye that I returned to Tuscany earlier this year. For primarily strategic reasons I decided on Lucca as my base and was pleasantly surprised by what turned out to be a very paintable town. It has all that I look for in a subject – character, colour and timelessness, the latter being afforded by the banishment of motor vehicles from the town centre. There still lingers the danger of being knocked over by one of the many thousands of bicycles, but the pace of the town is slowed and it’s earth-coloured stucco and beautifully detailed marble work imbue it with a quintessentially Italian feel.

I have often rejected the “far view” as empty and lacking interest but I would have to say that my reaction to the Tuscan landscape, even in its burnt August colours, was one of enduring interest with its patterns of vines, olive groves and Cypress trees.

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This exhibition has some of my first responses to this landscape and of course some familiar scenes of Italians being Italians in Lucca, San Gimignano and the villages of the Cinque Terre.


20 • Evening Sun, Piazza Napoleone, Lucca • 20”x30” • Oil on canvas

ITALIAN LANDSCAPES • 25


21 • Cafe, Piazza San Michele, Lucca • 12”x12” • Oil on canvas

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22 • Cafe, Piazza Napoleone, Lucca • 20”x20” • Oil on canvas


23 • Near San Gimignano, Tuscany • 24”x24” • Oil on canvas

ITALIAN LANDSCAPES • 27


24 • Punta della Dogana, Venice • 12”x16” • Oil on canvas

28 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


25 • Scuola Grande di San Marco • 16”x22” • Oil on canvas

ITALIAN LANDSCAPES • 29


26 • Gondoliers on the Riva, Venice • 16”x16” • Oil on canvas

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27 • Figures on a bridge, Dorsoduro, Venice • 12”x12” • Oil on canvas

28 • Breakfast, Portofino • 8”x8” • Acrylic on board

ITALIAN LANDSCAPES • 31


29 • Modigliani and Chinese Horse • 20”x20” • Oil on canvas

32 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


30 • Two Toucans and Tahitian Girl • 40”x40” • Oil on canvas

CONTEMPORARY STILL LIFE • 33


31 • Mandolin and Van Eyck • 28”x28” • Oil on canvas

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32 • Parlour Guitar and Greek Vase • 34”x36” • Oil on canvas

CONTEMPORARY STILL LIFE • 35


36 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance


Biographic Synopsis Born 1953 in Edinburgh

Solo Exhibitions include:

Educated – Madras College, St Andrews

Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh

Studied Art:

Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen

• Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee studying under James Morrison, Peter Collins, Jack Knox, Dennis Buchan, David McClure and Gordon Cameron. • Hospitalfield House, Arbroath under Sir Peter Blake CBE • Post Graduate year of study at Duncan of Jordanstone • Farquhar Reid Travelling Scholarship in Paris and Florence

Group exhibitions include: Royal Scottish Academy Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art Compass Gallery, Glasgow

Richmond Hill Gallery, London

Richmond Hill Gallery, London

Thompsons Gallery, London

Thomson’s Galleries, London

Broadway Modern, Cotswolds

Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, Eton Richard Hagen Galleries, Broadway

Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, Eton

John Noott Galleries, Broadway

Kranenburg Fine Art, Oban

Manorhouse Gallery, Chipping Norton

Fraser Gallery, St Andrews

Eduardo Alessandros Gallery, Dundee

Gullane Art Gallery, Gullane

Fraser Gallery St Andrews

After his academic years Jack established himself as an

Falle Fine Art, St Hellier, Jersey

illustrator and then developed a design and marketing agency in Dundee, while painting professionally for various exhibitions at a number of East of Scotland galleries.

Art Expo, New York

Began painting full time in 1997 and over the years has exhibited extensively, including over 60 solo shows.

Jack Morrocco - A work in progress by Roy McGregor contains a full detailed biography

Forbes Gallery, New York Galerie Azur, St Paul de Vence, France Meridian Art, Agen, France

biography • 37


Paintings are for sale upon receipt of this brochure – for prices please contact the gallery on (01620) 843082 – Paintings may also be reserved for a period as determined by the gallery. All image sizes are excluding frame: height x width Published by GFA Publishing Limited on behalf of GULLANE ART GALLERY for “Resonance” exhibition Saturday 13th October - Sunday 4th November 2012 Images copyright of the artist Poems copyright of Roy McGregor Text copyright of Gullane Art Gallery Brochure designed by Creative Link, North Berwick Printed by Meigle Colour Printers


8 Stanley Road (Main Street) | Gullane | EH31 2AD T: 01620 843082 | E: info@gullaneartgallery.co.uk 40 • JACK MORROCCO - Resonance

www.gullaneartgallery.co.uk


Jack Morrocco exhibition