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February 2014

Darkness Visible flyer

Leyden Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of new oil paintings by Jake Wood-Evans this spring, showing alongside lithographs by Henry Moore. The exhibition runs from Wednesday 12th March to Saturday 26th April. Find out more at the Leyden Gallery website.

Private view: 12th March -26th April

Leyden Gallery

9/9a Leyden Street


E1 7LE

More on Darkness Visible

By Nicholas Hallam

”The paintings become intense labours of love. I enjoy learning everything I can from the images I’m working from. But I have to get to a point where I start taking risks. I have to get close to losing control and obliterating the whole thing- then something interesting can happen’ – JWE.


Jake Wood-Evans’ work lives with and aspires to classical standards, and his paintings are tense with one of art’s classic disputes: the conflict between truth and beauty.

His instinct has always been to make something wonderful for the eye; and his shows are shocking partly because of the sheer overflowing gorgeous technique they display. These oils are alive, and paying homage to their ancestors. A flash of Turner’s light, the glint of a Velasquez eye; Richter’s ‘technological’ blurring: aesthetic high points from the history of art are here. Dangerous company to keep, perhaps, but these paintings are triumphantly realized.

After Sir Thomas Lawrence

But they aren’t just spectacles. There is something obsessive about Wood-Evans’ constant returning to the past, as though he were in search of a reality, a significance, he cannot find in the present day. There is a hunger in this body of work for the real, the true. The source images wilt under the emotional pressure, implode, fade to black.

Darkness Visible': Satan’s first impressions of Hell in Milton’sParadise Lost. Darkness is everywhere in Wood-Evans work; from the terrific absences framing the ambiguous dead heroes of the portraits, to the vast nothingness sucking in the exquisite limbs of Boucher’s lyrically erotic nymph.

What is that darkness? What have we lost?


After François Boucher

Oil on canvas, 80 x 80cm


Portrait of a Young Woman

Oil on wood, 48 x 39 cm


After Sir Thomas Lawrence

Oil on wood, 48 x 39 cm

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