Thursday, 17 September 2009

Visiting Al Greenall

My favourite part of the art gallery life is visiting artists' studios. It is a great privilege to to be invited into a personal space where someone reveals the results of work that has demanded so much time, thought, and emotion. I am often met with an artist's sense of pride, expectation and sometimes vulnerability.

A recent visit to Al Greenall's Bristol studio was a particular highlight. Having previously visited Al's Bath based studio, I was delighted to offer him a show in October. For the past few months Al has been working on creating his 'Patron' collection of paintings especially for the show and I paid a visit to get a preview of the work soon after it was finished.

As I entered the studio, I was immediately struck by the colour and shape that attacked my senses. I didn't speak for a moment while I dealt with the overload and then tried to justify my startled reaction to Al. I likened the sensation to filling your mouth with the explosive space sweets that make your taste buds dance. We then started to look at, and discuss, the paintings one by one.

The inspirational sources of Al's paintings are many; he absorbs the architecture and landscape of his environment over time and when he is 'full up' he releases his creativity at an astonishing pace. The colours are vibrant and the palette extensive. The shapes are strong and assertive and applied with a sense of abandonment. The style can appear abstract but offers an endless source of imagery in its depth. The complexity of construction provides multiple 'blank canvases' to create your own pictures.

Al's work often stimulates a musical analogy in me when I describe it. My first response is to hear a loud noise which demands attention. I then listen to the overall sound. It's not a catchy pop song but a more complex orchestral piece with layers of instruments working in harmony, with an edge of jazzy improvisation. The collection offers an album of tracks that grow with you the more attention you invest.

Impossible to ignore, and maybe just as difficult to love, but once you build a relationship with this work, you will want more!

Al Greenall's Patron collection can be seen at View Art Gallery from October 1st to November 15th, as part of the Morphogenesis exhibition.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Morphogenesis Press Release


1st October - 15th November 2009

View's Morphogenesis exhibition explores the creation of shape.

Fred Swist, Al Greenall, Julian Abrams, and Julian Cox ARBS, study this common theme from very different inspirational origins.

Swist’s digital imagery engages the relationship between art and science, resulting in both aesthetic and technical appeal. Greenall extracts physical and emotional pictures from geographical locations and their experience is shared through multi media paintings. Abram investigates and captures patterns of light through photography and creates the impression of gyroscopic movement in his images. Cox interprets the lines and curves of the female form in his minimalist, elegant ink painting and sculpture.

Rose Popay brings an additional dimension to this eclectic mix of styles and media in her video installations, using her ability to morph into a collection of stimulating characters.

We shall also be dedicating part of the show to an exciting range of prints by local artists, who range from established to first time exhibitors.

About View

View is a contemporary art gallery, situated in Bristol’s Harbourside. We’re here to champion new art and artists, and bring a refreshingly informal approach to viewing and buying art.

The space offers 5 zones over 2 floors, with room for innovative conceptual art alongside traditional styles and media. An active events programme and frequently changing exhibitions keeps the art fresh for new and regular visitors.