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Seeking the motif Julian Le Bas 18 OCTOBER - 26 OCTOBER 2014

ST ANNE’S GALLERIES


SEEKING THE MOTIF The Recent Drawings and Paintings of Julian Le Bas This body of work bears out one of Matisse’s well-known statements concerning the interdependency of drawing and painting… ‘a drawing and a painting say the same thing. A drawing is a painting with reduced means.’ Whether his motif is the formation of a cliff, a pomegranate or the emphatic position of a newborn lamb, Le Bas seeks out the salient features with incisive directness. Initially this is done with charcoal on paper but further developed in oil on canvas in a quest to give a fully realised expression to his visual and emotionally charged sensations. What soon becomes apparent is an underlying abstract sensibility - call it ‘formal preference’ - which unifies his vision. Through his long and practised discipline of drawing, Le Bas’ work has increasingly acquired a spareness and clarity of purpose. Produced almost entirely before the various subjects, Le Bas patiently and thoughtfully builds up layers of responses in depth, evolving through the closely-knit shades and tones which have emerged from colour oppositions, and eventual harmonious fusion.

The results are never ostentatious, flamboyant or glib. Le Bas’ scale is modest and his subject matter often takes on board subjects unnoticed by others; for example Willow Herb, a little plant more commonly found in rubbish dumps, or simply a pair of pomegranates artlessly placed side by side, yet painted with the same structural ambition as his cliff painting at Hope Gap. Then he turns us around and directs his gaze over relatively featureless expanses of the dark channel waters. One is reminded of how Rothko cleared his surfaces to gain access to a greater drama. With Low Tide, Rottingdean one sees Le Bas reaching out beyond the edges as his dark layered tonal bands evoke depth and mystery. Or in another, Saltdean Landscape, where the serried ranks of breakers roll right up to the viewer, reminiscent of those little studies Constable made around two hundred years ago of this very shore. This is a strong but unpresumptuous body of work which reflects the great sensitivity and humility of the artist…the longer I spend with both the paintings and drawings the more they reveal and rouse in me an optimism for the practice of painting. Graham Boyd, Chipperfield, August 2014

PHOTO BY FLORENCE CREFFIELD


FIRLE BEACON FROM VANGUARD WAY oil on canvas 59 x 51cm


TRIPLE PORTRAIT OF A LAMB charcoal on paper 43 x 30cm


SEVEN SISTERS IN THE SUNSHINE (top) oil on canvas 117 x 65cm

TWO POMEGRANATES (No 2) (right) oil on canvas 40 x 30cm


WINTER TREES, NEAR KINGSTON

EWE IN THE LANDSCAPE

HORIZON OF WINTER TREES

(top left)

(top right)

(bottom)

charcoal on paper 35 x 40cm

charcoal on paper 43 x 30cm

charcoal on paper 43 x 20cm


CHANCTONBURY RING, SUMMER SUNSET (top) oil on canvas 62 x 50cm

WOODLAND, WHITEHAWK HILL (No 2) (left) oil on canvas 92 x 92cm


ANGEL OF NUNHEAD 3 charcoal on paper 20 x 20cm


PEAR & POMEGRANATE oil on canvas 33 x 27cm


THE SEVEN SISTERS ONCOMING CLOUDS (top) oil on canvas 117 x 65cm

SEASCAPE, LOW TIDE, ROTTINGDEAN (right) oil on canvas 48 x 41cm


POPPY FIELD, OVINGDEAN (top right)

WILLOWHERB, WHITEHAWK HILL (bottom left)

HOPE GAP CLIFFS

(top left) charcoal on paper 20 x 30cm

oil on canvas 54 x 40cm

oil on canvas 31 x 41cm

oil on canvas 62 x 52cm

ATTENTIVE LAMB

(bottom right)


SNOWDROPS oil on canvas 32 x 43cm


JULIAN LE BAS 1958 Born Sussex Trained at Hertfordshire College of Art & Design, Brighton Polytechnic (tutor Dennis Creffield), Cyprus College of Art Represented by St Anne’s Galleries/ Sarah O’Kane Contemporary Fine Art. SELECTED SOLO SHOWS Collective Gallery, Edinburgh Bede Gallery, Jarrow Towner, Eastbourne HQ Gallery, Lewes ANGEL OF NUNHEAD 1

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

charcoal on paper 20 x 20cm

The London Group, South London Gallery Dimensions, SE Arts Council / Swedish Exchange Exhibition, Sweden The Royal Overseas League Annual (Educational Trust prize winner), London 75th Anniversary of Glamorgan Summer School, Cardiff David Bomberg, Some Students and Current Influences, Towner, Eastbourne The Sussex Scene, Hove Museum & Art Gallery and Towner, Eastbourne The Jerwood Drawing Prize, Cheltenham and Hull Territory, Brighton and London The Spirit in Nature, Mall Galleries, London 17 @ Morley, Morley Gallery, London Green Sussex Fading Into Blue, St. Anne’s Galleries, Lewes PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Towner, Eastbourne Kent Institute of Art and Design West Sussex County Council


FARMHOUSE RUIN BELOW CHANCTONBURY RING oil on canvas 92 x 60cm

Exhibition available to view until 1 November 2014

SCAN THE QR CODE TO WATCH AN INTERVIEW WITH JULIAN LE BAS

ST ANNE’S GALLERIES Curator: SARAH O’KANE 111 HIGH STREET, LEWES, EAST SUSSEX BN7 1XY Mobile. 07777 691 050 Direct. 01273 407 119 sok@stannesgalleries.com www.stannesgalleries.com

Seeking the Motif — Julian Lebas  

Seeking the Motif — Julian Lebas Brochure 18 OCTOBER - 26 OCTOBER 2014

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