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James Gillick The Horse


James Gillick The Horse


James Gillick The Horse

Sladmore Contemporary in association with Jonathan Cooper 32 Bruton Place Mayfair London W1J 6NW T: 020 7499 0365 www.sladmorecontemporary.com


James Gillick Two key forces drive me at Sladmore Contemporary: the sculptor’s power and joy in their craft and the act of creation, and an understanding and love of the natural world. When I first discovered the remarkable paintings of James Gillick I saw in them the perfect marriage of these elements. Thankfully he is represented by my friend and fellow dealer Jonathan Cooper, with whom I had long wanted to share a project. The Sladmore is of course mainly known for our bronzes, but with our long specialisation in equine sculpture, from nineteenth-century artists such as Bonheur, through Bugatti, Degas, and other twentieth-century masters to contemporary stars such as Nic Fiddian Green, James Gillick seemed a particularly apt addition to our stable. He too is obsessed with the “making� of his works: using a modified painting technique that includes elements dating back to the seventeenth century, James handcrafts all of the materials he uses within his studio. From the oil paints, waxes and glues, to the varnishes, canvases and stretchers, this ensures his complete involvement in the whole process of creating a work of art. Having prepared the oils from the purest pigments, he deliberately uses a limited palette, which gives his paintings a deep and lasting richness, and makes them distinctively recognisable as his. His work has the presence and majesty of famous British eighteenth and nineteenth-century equestrian artists, and is imbued with a deep feeling for the inner spirit of the horse. It is this quality, combined with his meticulously crafted technique, that achieves an end result that is both traditional and yet refreshingly modern.

GERRY FARRELL 4


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I have always admired and been inspired by the Animalier sculpture at the Sladmore Gallery and Sladmore Contemporary, which are both centres of artistic excellence. Like Gerry Farrell and Edward Horswell, I strive for the same high standards in my own gallery, and am proud to represent living artists whom I feel are exceptional. With a shared taste and specialisation, Gerry and I had talked about our desire to work together on an exhibition. We were very fortunate to find the perfect artist in James Gillick, whose equestrian paintings Gerry fortuitously encountered at the Country Life Fair. Gerry was impressed by the quality of these paintings, just as I was by James Gillick’s work when he first came to my gallery sixteen years ago. James approaches his easel, like the great masters of the past, with an uncompromising commitment to his craft. The quiet stillness of his works belie the many hours spent in the quest of perfection – no easy task! These equestrian paintings share the same dignity and power as the superb and intimate still lifes for which James has long been admired in my gallery. This is a thrilling exhibition, and I am proud to be presenting it in association with Sladmore Contemporary. It is particularly fitting as in 1985 I held my first commercial exhibition at the Sladmore Gallery in Bruton Place, kindly loaned to me, at no cost, by Edward Horswell.

Jonathan Cooper 6


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Arabian

Arabian horses are bred for both their appearance and character, as they once were the treasured companion of the Bedouin Arabs. They are known for their good heart, a prideful spirit, abundant charisma, and a noble face with sweet ears and expressive eyes, a very well arched neck and flying movement. Instantly recognizable in any company.

Mohammad Jassim Al Marzouq, Amjal Arabian Stud. The magical essence of the classic Arabian horse has enthralled artists for centuries. The ancient philosopher Plotinus once asked: “What is it that attracts the eyes of those to whom a beautiful object is presented, and calls them, lures them, toward it, and fills them with joy at the sight?” Does not our heart jump when a majestic Arabian stallion prances forth and his glance proclaims, “Look at me - am I not beautiful?” This breed is Nature’s testimony that Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty. Larger than life, the classic Arabian horse stands before the world - today as in the past - forever inspiring artists to capture its natural beauty, grace and spirit.

Judith Forbis 9


1. Arabian Mare and Foal, Oil on copper, 21” x 26” (54 x 68cm) 10


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2. The Itch Oil on linen, 50” x 35” (130 x 90cm) 12


3. Arabian Stallion, Oil on linen, 50” x 35” (130 x 90cm) 13


4. Arabian Mare and Her New Born Foal, Oil on linen, 40” x 75”, (100 x 190cm) 14


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5. Young Arabian Stallion, Oil on linen, 80” x 60” (230 x 150cm) 16


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6. Arabian Mare and Stallions, Oil on linen, 30” x 90” (77 x 230cm) 18


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Thoroughbred

The thoroughbred racehorse is the most complete and powerful natural athlete in creation, the fastest weight carrying creature the world has ever seen, a thousand pounds of blood and bone and muscle genetically programmed to run a hole in the wind. To appreciate the physicality you have to get in close – to see it come past you in a race at over 35 miles an hour – to have your eye hit by the raw grace of the thoroughbred on the wing. All the talk, the studying, the hopes, the journeys, the laughs, the fears, each time reduces to one abiding question. Which will be the one?

Brough Scott, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing 21


7. Thoroughbred Brood Mares and Foal, Oil on linen, 40” x 75” (100 x 190cm) 22


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8. Two Dark Bays, Oil on copper, 20” x 40” (50 x 100cm) 24


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9. Winner, Oil on linen, 72” x 152” (180 x 390cm) 28


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10. Exercise, Oil on linen, 32” x 70” (82 x 180cm) 30


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11. Thoroughbred Brood Mares and Foals, Oil on Linen, 30” x 90” (79 x 230cm) 32


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Polo Pony

In the equestrian world there is no partnership as amazing as that between polo player and his pony. They need to have a Centaur-like symbiosis that enables the man to execute the most precise of shots from a living platform that hurtles, skittles, jumps, spins and slides, quite often at speeds in excess of 30mph. The polo pony is the ultimate equestrian athlete, able to perform under pressure any manoeuvre that their rider asks, the instant they are asked. Most polo ponies today are at least 75% thoroughbred; the high intensity nature of the sport demands the quick bursts of speed that they provide, the complexity and strategy of a polo match requires the intelligence of an Arabian and the rapid turn of play in pursuit of the ball necessitates the agility of a Quarter horse.

Edward Horswell. Sladmore. 35


12. Confrontation, Oil on copper, 20” x 40” (50 x 100cm) 36


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13. Watching I, Oil on copper, 28” x 40” (70 x 100cm) 38


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14. Walking Line of Six Polo Ponies, Oil on Linen, 30” x 90” (76 x 230cm) 40


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15. Watching II, Oil on Linen, 40” x 50” (102 x 130cm) 42


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Drawings including silverpoint and sepia crayon

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16. Study for ‘Winner’ Silverpoint on 300gsm Arches HP paper, blue gessoed 11” x 22” (28 x 56cm) 46


17. Study for ‘Walking Line of Polo Ponies’, Silverpoint with chalk highlights on 300gsm, Arches HP paper, blue gessoed, 20” x 45” (52 x 113cm) 47


18. At Full Gallop, Sepia crayon on 300gsm Arches HP paper, blue gessoed, 15” x 22” (38 x 56cm) 48


19. Under the Ghaf Tree, Silverpoint with chalk highlights on 300gsm Arches HP paper, blue gessoed, 15” x 12” (38 x 31cm) 49


20. Arabian Looking Left 1, Silverpoint on 300gsm Arches HP paper, pink gessoed, 12” x 15” (31 x 38cm)

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21. Arabian Looking Left 11, Silverpoint with chalk highlights on 300gsm Arches HP paper, green gessoed, 15� x 12� (38 x 31cm) 51


22. Arabian Stallion Approaching His Mare, Silverpoint on 300gsm Arches HP paper, pink gessoed, 11� x 20� (28 x 51cm) 52


23. Halting Polo Pony, Silverpoint on 300gsm Arches HP paper, blue gessoed, 21” x 25” (53 x 63cm) 53


24. Galloping Polo Pony, Silverpoint on 300gsm Arches HP paper, pink gessoed, 11� x 22� (28 x 56cm) 54


25. Portrait of an Arabian, Sepia crayon on 300gsm, Arches HP paper, pink gessoed, 15� x 12� (38 x 31cm) 55


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With thanks to

Mr Mohammed Jassim Khalid Al-Marzouk and all his staff at Amjal Arabian Stud Sheika Sarah Fahad al Sabah and all her staff at the Bait al Arab Mrs Kirsten Rausing and all her staff at the Lanwades Stud Harry Herbert and everybody at Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Mr Louis Maserrella and all his staff at the Louella Stud Mrs Judith Forbis Mr John Horsewell Ms Nicole Sachs 57


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James Gillick

1972

Born in Norfolk, UK

1998

Commissioned to paint the Rt. Hon Margeret Thatcher

1999

Commissioned to paint the Very Rev. M. Couve de Murville, Archbishop of Birmingham

2001 - 2015 Solo exhibitions at Jonathan Cooper, London 2003 - 2009 Exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries, London 2004 - 2005

Commissioned to paint His Holiness Pope John Paul II

2004 - 2006 Exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Mall Galleries, London 2010 Exhibited in the group show ‘Art of Giving’, Saatchi Gallery, London 2010 - 2016 Exhibited at BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair, London 2010 - 2012 Exhibited at Haughton’s Art Antiques London 2011

Invited by Brian Sewell to exhibit at the ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

2011 - 2016 Exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London 2013 Solo exhibition at FIP Snow Polo World Cup, Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, China 2013 Exhibited at Lapada Art & Antiques Fair, London 2013 Exhibited in ‘25 Years: Anniversary Exhibition’, Jonathan Cooper, London 2015

‘Solo & Retrospective’, Jonathan Cooper, London

James is happy to undertake commissions of client’s own horses, please get in touch with the gallery if you are interested. 59


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www.sladmorecontemporary.comwww.jonathancooper.co.uk

Profile for Jonathan Cooper

James Gillick: The Horse  

An exhibition of new equestrian paintings and drawings by James Gillick. Focusing equally on Egyptian Arabians, Polo Ponies, and Thoroughbre...

James Gillick: The Horse  

An exhibition of new equestrian paintings and drawings by James Gillick. Focusing equally on Egyptian Arabians, Polo Ponies, and Thoroughbre...

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