Arts Reviews

Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality @ Nottingham Lakeside Arts

Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality is the most recent exhibition at the Djanogly Gallery at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, and was opened by UoN’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenaway, the Director of Tate Britain, Alex Farquharson, and the show’s curator, Anne Goodchild. Richard Perry’s most recent work was also on show, making for a very creative evening!

Pasmore (1908-1998) is one of the nation’s most significant twentieth-century artists, who took inspiration from everything around him. This exhibition focuses on the period 1930 to 1969, when Pasmore made the sudden, unprecedented transition from impressionistic still life and landscape paintings to his more well-known highly colourful abstract works.

While other exhibitions of his work have focused on various aspects of Pasmore’s artistic and teaching practice, this is the first to focus on the most memorable period in his artistic life, and considers the impact that his work had on figurative and abstract art in twentieth century Britain.

“This remarkable show of work utilises an amazing collection”

The exhibition brings together Pasmore’s work from across the country, including pieces from Leeds Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, Nottingham Castle Collections, and several from the Tate Gallery in London. This remarkable show of work utilises an amazing collection, and maps Pasmore’s transition from more conventional works to his more experimental and spontaneous abstracts; art historian Herbert Read called this transition “the most revolutionary event in post-war British art.”

“It’s hard to tell if the sculptures are carved by hand”

In the Angear Visitor Centre, also at NLA, is an exhibition of Richard Perry’s most recent work, including paintings, drawings and sculpture. Perry uses marble and other stone materials to create intricate and almost mathematical 3D sculptures, and accompanies them with drawings and paintings that seem to blur the lines between 2D and 3D space.

It’s hard to tell if the sculptures are carved by hand, or if they were done by machine, as the precision and delicacy of the carving suggest a mechanical input, but there are faint chisel marks visible on some that hint at a more personal creation.

“The works on show at NLA blur the line between 2D and 3D”

These two exhibitions both show how blocky and very solid shapes can be combined and manipulated to create flowing and natural-looking scenes; from Pasmore’s use of line and curve that is almost reminiscent of map contours, to Perry’s almost calculated constructions that still manage to seem very natural and organic, the works on show at NLA blur the line between 2D and 3D, as well as between the natural and the manmade.

Ellen Smithies

Image credit: brianfagan via Flickr

‘Victor Pasmore: Towards a New Reality’ is running at Nottingham Lakeside Arts until Sunday 19th February. For more information, see here.

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