Nick Schlee at opening in Oxford
FRESH from his London exhibition Abstractions – 10 large abstracts and their source landscape paintings – Upper Basildon artist Nick Schlee is now rubbing shoulders with the Old Masters at the internationally-renowned Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford, with Drawing to Painting.
Abstractions makes clear exactly where the idea for Schlee’s abstract paintings come from. Looking closely at small areas of the brushwork in his oil landscapes, he has enlarged them some 10 times to become the basis of big, dramatic abstractions, providing an unusual opportunity to compare the original inspiration with the final painting. This Oxford show examines in depth a selection of his oil paintings, beside which is the colour pastel drawing made on the spot, along with either a colour sketch or larger charcoal study done from the original drawing. The lessons learnt from the charcoal – perhaps its heightened reliance on tonal contrasts or emphasised linear rhythms, are often included in the finished work. The exhibition continues until April 9.
Leading off from Drawing to Painting, is the exquisite Thinking on Paper: Drawings by Old Masters (to April 30).The internationally renowned drawings collection in the Picture Gallery at Christ Church is regarded as one of the most important private collections of Old Master drawings in the country and includes work by the masters; Leonardo, Michelangelo, Dürer, Raphael and Rubens. For reasons of conservation the entire collection cannot be permanently on show, but a selection is always on view.
If you’ve never visited this gem of a gallery – they also have a number of fabulous Russian icons of the 17th and 18th centuries on show – now’s a good time. Entry £4/£2 conc, free to University members and National Art Pass holders.