PETLEYS – 6 CORK STREET, MAYFAIR, W1S 3LL – EDWARD BEALE EXHIBITION
At the private view we were greeted by the gallery owners, Roy Petley and his son Jason Petley, and assistant Zara, who were very welcoming.
My overall impression was that the work of the artist Edward Beale owes a lot to its manipulated texture and some paintings are three dimensional because of this, particularly the townscapes.
Edward lives near the Thames, in Lambeth and some works are of Lambeth houses and views near the river, Very successful are works of Thames barges and boats, and cranes near the docks.
I spoke to Edward about the paint he uses since there is a remarkable the link between his work and that of Frank Auerbach. He said that he uses the same paint, made by Stokes in Sheffield and supplied in tins.
Otherwise he pointed out that he works en plein air, outside or from a van which he hires. He said that he chooses to paint an area that he can cover in that day.
Frank Auerbach works in the studio.
The thickness of the paint must be a nightmare for those who have to keep the paintings clean and in good condition. I could not imagine how one would dust them, for instance.
There was one gouache – a river scene done which I particularly liked. Other smaller paintings also I noted down as having fresh, vibrant paint – not very thick, for instance Dutch ship being unloaded 9 x 14 inches, on panel.
Also I admired Sunny afternoon at Trinity Buoy Wharf, 12 x 14 inches , where there was a fine atmosphere of sunshine.
The total number of art work was 48, all paintings except for one drawing of a nude, and the various subjects included (very roughly):
small boat scenes; buildings in London, the docks and cranes, landscapes with mountains in the distance; flowers and fruit, abstract ‘landscapes’.
All the work was titled, thank goodness. I cannot stand exhibitions where the works are ‘untitled’!
One landscape, View of the Pyrenees in May, 12 x 14 inches, I noted had delicious fresh greens, with a sky of blue, pink and white.
Overall, the exhibition is very well worth visiting. It is on until 20 May 2011.
It was interesting to meet the artist – a Londoner, a very tall man, who might find working on a painting in a van quite constricting!