Moving through the landscape

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Louis Turpin exhibition

Louis Turpin, the well known artist, is holding his latest exhibition at Rye Art Gallery in the High Street, from September 11 to October 10.  A contemporary figurative painter, Louis’ work has been shown at the Royal Academy, the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Society of Artists. In his profile in Rye News, he explains that he usually does one solo show a year, but of course 2020 stopped all of us in our tracks with Covid-19 restrictions.

This solo selling exhibition, entitled “Gardens – Landscapes”, draws on Louis’ experience of becoming ever more involved in exploring the countryside, “looking at the landscape and gardens and these increasingly became the subjects of my paintings”.  In the excellent catalogue provided, he goes on to describe how these subjects influenced his practice as his career progressed.

Hung in galleries 1 and 2, the works on view show his expressive and flamboyant approach to colour and form, and the pen and ink drawings that Louis talks about. “Including ink drawings in my mark making, adding another form of expression”, and these give new perspective on his life and work. A number are on prominent display in gallery 2, a particular favourite being “Brede Valley in Wintertime” (Indian ink), and “Seedheads”  (Indian ink and watercolour). Such gentle, clear colours enhancing the bold black yew hedge behind.

Recalling himself as an eight year-old child, looking through railings into a garden in Brixton, where, after one of England’s seemingly endless winters, a tulip tree and a forsythia had suddenly, so it appeared, sprung into marvellous life, he describes it as “a revelation” In the exhibition, there is a painting of the magnificent tulip tree at Great Dixter, which Louis says “still has the power to stop me in my tracks” (“The Tulip Tree”, oil on canvas).

At the private view on September 11, unsurprisingly 14 paintings were sold within the first half an hour, and the final total is yet to be reached. Leaving the last word to the artist, in answer to the question how do you know when it is complete? “Simple, really, it’s when nothing is left calling for attention, indeed even demanding it”.

The Rye Art Gallery is at 107, High Street, Rye.   Website: ryeartgallery.co.uk,  telephone: 01797 222 433.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11am to 5pm. Sunday 11am to 4pm. Closed all day Tuesday.

Image Credits: Rye Art Gallery .

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