In Western art the most powerful icon has always been the human figure, and this is the element which has connected the work of the two artists exhibiting at the Forge Gallery
, Walberton, England, later this year. Both artists take the idea of the figure but then that idea goes through the process of figuration, or formalization, but each uses a different process and each naturally comes up with different results.
deliberately avoids making any preparatory drawings or models when he carves his figures from marble, relying on his instinctive responses to the grain of the material. Working fast, his finished work, between 12 and 36 inches high, is close to his original conception. The result is a dynamic, poetic realization of his imagination which makes no attempt at academic accuracy but frequently has the mystic qualities of tribal totemic figures. Occasionally, his figures become anthromorphized animals or birds, bringing to mind the complex poles of the Indian tribes of North West Canada, carvings which have a mythical quality.
Peter Morris, who after half a century painting in oils, gouache and acrylic, has returned to figurative painting via influences in abstract expressionism through spending six years in north America during the 50s and early 60s. He typically makes drawings and takes photographs in preparation for his paintings, which sometimes are stylized landscapes of his second home in the Dordogne in France, but more often are highly formal compositions involving the human figure. A frequenter of chamber concerts, he has painted many variations on the subject including compositions based on string quartets and jazz bands; and an enthusiastic diner, he is fond of making pictures of figures in cafes and restaurants.
In August, when the two artists exhibit together, it will be fascinating to see how the vision of each of them informs the other. From disparate backgrounds, but with a common love of the figure and figuration, they should provide some interesting contrasts.
The Exhibition will be held at The Forge Gallery. The Street, Walberton. West Sussex, BN8 OPQ. UK.