In June we were delighted to stage Cornucopia by world-renowned artist Michael Jackson, his first exhibition in England for over ten years. It was undoubtedly Michael's most comprehensive collection of art to date featuring forty original works in oil, graphite pencil and red conte crayon. The event was extended due to its popularity and twenty five paintings were sold including commissions.
The Cornucopia collection expressed the phenomenal bounty of life. Inspired by his travels, the paintings portrayed the wonderful multiplicity of subjects that Michael has encountered during his career and were testament to his versatility and creativity as an artist. Contemporary portraiture was combined with stunning wildlife and the application of gold & siver leaf in a selection of his compositions revealed a fusion of expressionism and realism that has never been seen before in his compositions. The application of Chinoiserie, which Michael talks about below, helps keep his work at the forefront of contemporary art today.
"I have been experimenting with Chinoiserie for several years now and researched the techniques used by the artisans of the 17th and 18th century. Whilst my paintings do not directly depict Chinese themes, I use the decorative aspects of fragmented gold and silver leaf, coupled with highly realistic paintings of the chosen topic. It is a laborious technique as gold or sliver cannot be painted over, so the composition and painting has to be firmly established, and the gold applied painstakingly around the subject. if the gold comes into contact with oil paint, then it sticks and will not come off, rendering parts of the painting unworkable. The combination of realistic subject matter, and the gold and silver, brings about a fusion of styles that can fit well in many different environments. Each paintings is totally unique, and I particularly love the way that the light changes as it falls onto the surface of the canvas, it causes the painting to glow and take on another dimension with different angles of view". Michael Jackson
View Event Images (Sarah Valentine photography)
Malcolm's first ever one-man show outside of Cheshire proved a great success with almost half of the collection selling from the catalogue alone before their unveiling at an eagerly awaited invite only pre-view evening. Made in England, brought together thirty three recent works of still life's, flowers and landscapes depicting coastal towns, city life and idle country roads which for Malcolm tapped into the things and places which makes England feel like home.
His signature cloisonnist style (where black lines are used to separate colours in the manner of a stained glass window) and bold use of colour which makes his work distinctive and unmistakably his own enjoyed an overwhelming response. In particular his 'dusk' paintings, where the relationship between light and dark played over the canvas and illuminated the compositions from within, giving a sense of energy and vitality to the paintings.
As Malcolm explains his approach to painting is to capture the essence of his subject......
"When painting a bunch of roses, I aim to put down on canvas the essential elements of the flower - the 'roseness' of rose rather than mere detail. This requires the rejection of certain technical skills in favour of a more expressionist approach. Conversely, this leads to works that often take an age to produce yet still retain a sense of immediacy and vitality. The work of weeks and months giving the appearance of being the work of an afternoon". Malcolm Croft