After a year of intermittent lockdown, the desire to travel has never been stronger. As we wait and hope for the world to open up this summer, Richard Green Gallery presents Longing for Abroad, an online exhibition of paintings celebrating blue skies and sparkling seas, shady forests and babbling brooks.
Albert Marquet’s Voiliers à Porquerolles, 1939, conjures up the intense light of southern France which cast its spell over the rebels of Modernism. Marquet was influenced by the Fauves early in his career; the simplicity and saturated colour of this painting continue their legacy.
Sailing epitomizes the carefree summers of la vie en rose: it was a subject that Raoul Dufy made his own. Le retour des régates, 1933, employs his ‘shorthand of the essential’ with freely-drawn, crescent-shaped sails and buildings outlined with a childlike naivety. The setting is Deauville, playground of the rich and famous in the 1930s. The painting was shown in 1936 at the International Exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art, the brainchild of Andrew Carnegie to bring the best of avant-garde European art to the American public.
Sir John Lavery’s A southern sea, 1910, leaves the shores of Europe for the heat of the North African coast. Lavery made several visits to Tangiers in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Here he stands on the shore looking eastwards, with the pink of dawn flushing the foothills of the Rif mountains and a gentle breeze driving the clouds. Not a soul is in sight in this semi-abstract view.
The far north-west and the far south-west of the United Kingdom have their own magical atmosphere. The Scottish Colourist Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell’s Iona, East Bay, c.1923-25, revels in the pure, clean air of this island off the west coast of Scotland. Cadell is fascinated by the white sand, the forms and colours of the rocks, portrayed with an almost Cubist simplicity, and the constantly changing light.
Patrick Heron was one of many artists drawn to England’s Celtic enclave, Cornwall, with its rugged coastline and radiant light. He first went there as a child and lived in St Ives during the Second World War. Bedroom, Mousehole, 1946, explores his marriage of indoor and outdoor space, enticing the viewer through the window to gaze at the harbour below. Objects are presented with rhythmic linearity and decorative colour in a joyous affirmation of the sense of sight.
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