Illustrare: Painting by Andrew Potter
16 February—28 April 2010
In the Gallery Café
Andrew Potter, 'Atlantes I' Oil on canvas, 90 x 70cm “illustrare” (vb. Latin; to illuminate, light up; give glory; embellish; enlighten;.)
The common thread of the paintings in this exhibition is that of light. It softly defines the strength and structure of the male form and reveals the form and depth of colour in the assembly of everyday objects in the still lifes.
For generations, drawing the human form was the core focus of training for students at the Royal Academy Schools. Over time the classical male nude lost its eminence in the hierarchy of subject matter and it was not until the late 20th century that photographers and advertisers re-appropriated it as a valid public artistic form.
The male figures in the exhibition begin with a life study and develop through to more formal and idealised concepts of the figure inspired by a love of classical sculpture. The kneeling Atlantes, constrained by the weight of the structures they support, are the male equivalent of the Caryatids whilst the triptych and polytych are inspired by bas relief sculpture. The same figure is viewed from different angles in a format that harks back to traditional religious forms such as the predella seated beneath a triptych as seen in “The Deposition”. The paintings’ soft tonal ranges of earth-based colours maintain a sense of purity and convey an impression of corporeal luminosity.
The still lifes are, also, an aesthetic response to the beauty of everyday forms. The paintings capture different surface textures and intense colours revealed by a strong directional light; intimate observations of the lustrous qualities shared by natural elements and artificial surfaces.
Andrew Potter trained at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. His figurative work has gained him the Frances Williams Prize (University of Wales), Liquitex Award for Excellence in Art, Pentagram Award and the Winsor & Newton Award (Royal College of Art, Association of Illustrators). He has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
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