Shock of the old
OPUS FINE ART
Private View: Saturday, 24 November, 2-8pm
Shock of the Old is open to the public at Opus Fine Art, Martin House, Sheep Street, Stow on the Wold GL54 1AA
from 26 November to 5 January.
OPUS Art’s inaugural event features the work of two of southern England’s most exciting and adventurous figurative artists, Chris Kettle and Jake Wood-Evans. The show celebrates a return to classical craft and aesthetic mastery: Kettle and Wood-Evans dare to be traditional even as they engage the modern subject; their exquisite but highly contemporary work shows them spearheading a movement out of the cul-de-sac of the clichéd and conformist gimmickry of recent conceptual art. These paintings offer the regained possibility of beauty and contemplative exploration to the viewer seeking true artistic value.
Kettle and Wood-Evans operate deliberately in the traditions of the Slade School of Art, and its master, Euan Euglow. Their work can be understood as an intense creative response to the flourishing of post-war British painting – the feverish achievements of Bacon, Freud and Hockney.
This is art to last, to be lived with.
Despite being at a relatively early stage in their careers, Kettle and Wood-Evans have already met with recognition and acclaim.
Chris Kettle describes himself as a painter of ‘New Still Life’. He is notorious for his subversive approach to still life (Art Review comments that he has ‘turned the genre on its head’). His recent work draws inspiration from the work of the Dutch Masters. Kettle uses inanimate objects ordinarily associated with pure study as a means with which to explore many facets of human emotion, reworking these classical symbols in his own distinctive, often dark and brooding style. Kettle has exhibited widely, in, amongst other locations, Brighton, London, Newcastle, Gstaad and Miami. His most recent ‘Terrarium’ paintings have transformed Kettle into a national award-winning artist.
Jake Wood-Evans mixes the two worlds of classical and contemporary art. Recognized as a superb draughtsman (Art Republic have commissioned and sold out series of his prints to the general public), Jake’s true focus is on the art of painting. His oil paintings range from small, sensitive studies to large scale, epic canvasses. His influences range from the great artists of the baroque, to the 19th century colorists, and Richter and Bacon in our own time. With his loose, instinctive use of paint he creates dark, ethereal works that capture the imagination, and provoke emotion; his work is beautifully unsettling. During his time as a student, Jake was awarded a scholarship from the Royal Academy for classical study at the Prado museum; and also won the accolade of ‘Free Range’ Most Promising Graduate.