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simon mcwilliams | valerio d’ospina

the new metropolis

sim on m c w illiam s


orn in Belfast, Simon McWilliams trained at the University of Ulster and then at the Royal Academy Schools in London. An award winning artist, his paintings can be found in many of the major collections of Irish Art today.

“He takes his immediate urban surroundings as his subject, through superb draughtsmanship and richly textured layers of paint he produces images that carry the conviction of an observed vision but which are in fact the creation of a parallel and imagined place; emotionally charged abstractions that reveal something his own spiritual relationship with the places that fascinate him.” They are also paintings that investigate the meeting of abstract and figurative elements, where color and surface combine to suggest an elaborate evocation of mood and atmosphere that has led Dr. Brian Kennedy, Keeper of the Ulster Museum to write that McWilliams is a “painter’s painter … His handling of paint is sensuous, tactile almost with a life of it’s own within the medium, in a way that few painters understand nowadays.” Ranging from heavy impasto to the most delicate scumbles and washes his work, first and foremost, is a celebration of painting. McWilliams’ work examines the timeless way in which the structural environment of a city intertwines with human presence, a subject that has resulted in seventeen awards for painting in the past eight years. Drawing on Belfast’s past, present and future, his paintings manage to combine both realist and abstract visions of a changing world where Palm houses come to occupy the same territory as modern office blocks and radio masts. His works are very much a painter’s way of describing one’s surroundings; allowing richly textured layers of paint and design to construct, shape and inform every aspect of the picture resulting in a tactile and forthright vision of a time and place. While the primary inspiration is his experience of urban settings, he equally enjoys uniting human elements within these environments, reminding us of our unconscious relationship to the buildings around us.

“I called the exhibition New Metropolis as a deliberate allusion to both fact and fantasy in our rapidly changing visual environment. The title was to prompt images of Fritz Lang’s classic film and Pieter Brueghel’s Tower Of Babel. In my paintings I was utilizing the powerful strangeness of the New City yet clothing it in such respelendent colour that we experience the majesty of the Tower rather than its dehumanizing characteristics.” -simon mcwilliams

Simon McWilliams, Evening Metropolis, oil on linen, 32 x 24 inches

Simon McWilliams, M-Machine, oil on linen, 40 x 32 inches

Simon McWilliams, Yellow Scaffolding, oil on linen, 32 x 24 inches

Simon McWilliams, Tower of Babel, oil on linen, 32 x 24 inches

Simon McWilliams, Obelisk, oil on canvas, 51 x 43 inches

Simon McWilliams, Restoration, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches

Simon McWilliams, Debris Netting, oil on canvas, 70 x 74 inches

Simon McWilliams, Metropolis, oil on canvas, 73.5 x 88.5 inches

Simon McWilliams, Building Babel, oil on canvas, 77 x 84 inches

Simon McWilliams, Red Arc & Steam, oil on canvas, 64 x 68 inches

Simon McWilliams, Yellow Shuttering, oil on canvas, 35 x 30 inches

Simon McWilliams, Welder & Smoke, oil on linen, 40 x 32 inches

Simon McWilliams, Cathedral, oil on canvas, 54 x 61 inches

Simon McWilliams, Obelisk and Smoke, oil on linen, 40 x 32 inches

valerio d’ospina


milio Valerio D’Ospina was born in Taranto, Italy September 9, 1980. On July 14, 1999 he received an artistic diploma from Liceo Artistico Statale “Lisippo” in Taranto, where he was first introduced to the world of art. In November of the same year he moved to Florence to further his artistic studies. There he enrolled in his first painting course under the instruction of Professor R.Giovannelli in the Accademia di Belle Arti. During his stay in Florence, he assiduously visited museums where he learned the technique of the great masters and was given permission to replicate original works of art in the Palazzo Pitti Museum. He also visited the major Italian artistic capitols frequenting, with particular interest, the museums, art fairs and art biennales. In 2003, he moved to Paris for a short while where he studied firsthand the masterpieces of his favorite artists; Gericault, Delacroix, David, Ingres, Rubens, Cezanne, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet and the Impressionists. After his return to Florence, he began to work in an antique-painting restoration studio under the restorer Maurizio Bazzini, who gave him insight to the “character” of old paintings. On February 25, 2005, after preparing an experimental thesis in the study of “fisiognomica”, Valerio graduated with a degree in Painting. Impressed by the complex study of the thesis, and the correlation to his final paintings, the commission presiding over Valerios’ lecture presented him with 110 with Laud out of a possible 110 for his outstanding effort. Upon obtaining his degree, in September of 2006 he enrolled in the COBASLID (a two-year-long statal course to become a professor of art) in the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence. Only ten students were admitted into the course and in order to continue his studies, it was required for him to complete a series of examinations to secure his place. After his acceptance, he began an internship teaching pictorial discipline in the Liceo Artistico “L.B. Alberti”. Before completing his final year of study, D’Ospina met with the chair of the college of fine art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Impressed with his skills and artwork, D’OSpina was offered a position to teach a course designed to utilize his knowledge and competences of the techniques of the great masters. Two short weeks after completing the COBASLID, D’Ospina, only 27, traveled to America to begin teaching Classical Drawing and Painting, summer session II for the fine art department at IUP.

Valerio D’Ospina, Engines, oil on canvas, 59 x 77.6 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Electric Plant, oil on canvas, 65.4 x 49.6 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Torino, oil on canvas, 48 x 89 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Industrial Machinery, oil on canvas, 48 x 34 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Abandoned Buses, oil on canvas, 62.2 x 47.2 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Coal Feeders, oil on canvas, 40.2 x 53.5 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Locomotive, oil on canvas, 80 x 65 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Ship Yard, oil on canvas, 52 x 65 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Abandoned Coke Factory, oil on canvas, 56 x 41 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Train Cars, oil on canvas, 55 x 71 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Carcoke, oil on canvas, 59 x 40.5 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Lightning, oil on canvas, 58 x 45 inches

Valerio D’Ospina, Via Pietro Mica, oil on canvas, 51 x 57 inches

150 west marcy street ste 103 santa fe nm 87501 866.820.0113 | 505.820.7787

The New Metropolis  

The New Metropolis | Simon McWilliams & Valerio D'Ospina | August 5th - August 30th 2010

The New Metropolis  

The New Metropolis | Simon McWilliams & Valerio D'Ospina | August 5th - August 30th 2010