PATRICK Caulfield’s paintings and prints give still life a whole new meaning.
A master of simplicity with cleverly constructed scenes, his bold style makes him one of the UK’s most distinctive artists.
Running at Abbot Hall Art Gallery until March 29, the Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) exhibition gives the Kendal gallery a great start to its 2014 season.
Containing more than 30 works and featuring major loans from Tate, The British Council and Alan Cristea Gallery, London, the selection includes many of his iconic works such as Pottery (1969), one of the most ‘wow’ factor paintings of the modern age, an amazing and subtly engineered piece drenched in vivid colours.
Delving into Caulfield’s work reveals a timeless subject matter executed with deadpan humour all beautifully contained within his characteristic solid black outlines.
Precision underpins every piece - the uncomplicated and blissful blue Sweet Bowl, the sculptural feel of Hemmingway Never Ate Here, and the compelling His Second Glass of Whisky, textured and tuned into the social setting of restaurants and bars.
Another of his remarkable works is Braque Curtain, which shows simple but effective use of shadow and light, sadly Caulfield’s last painting before his death in 2005.
In addition, the exhibition presents a great opportunity for visitors to view Caulfield’s art alongside paintings by celebrated artists who inspired his work: Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Fernand Leger.
Exhibition curator Beth Hughes said that she loved the exhibition and Caulfield’s bold, Pop Art-like approach.
“The reason I like him so much is that his work is so accessible,” she added. “There’s an immediacy to his paintings and prints. They are so eye-opening.
“And it’s brilliant to have them here in Kendal.”
A simplified style combined with an astute commentary on modern life cast Patrick Caulfield as one of the originators of Pop Art in Britain - apparently a label he rejected preferring to be seen as a ‘formal’ artist who engaged with European painting traditions.
Caulfield studied at the Chelsea School of Art later progressing to the Royal College of Art where his fellow students included David Hockney. He exhibited in the Young Contemporaries in 1961 and 1962 and was part of the prestigious The New Generation exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1964. In 1987 Caulfield was nominated for the Turner Prize and in 1996 received a CBE.
To tie in with the Caulfield exhibition Absolute in Kendal has produced wallpaper designed by the Kendal College students who worked with Beth Hughes.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery is open Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-5pm (4pm November-February).
For further information telephone 01539-722464.