Original prints by one of Spain’s best known and celebrated artists, Antoni Clavé, tall bottles by top wood-firer Nic Collins, Morris Kestelman circus paintings and an exciting new Anthony Gross project.
Antoni Clavé, born 1913, was a Catalonian Spanish artist celebrated for his paintings, prints, sculptures and, more prominently, for his stage and costume designs. His work diversified hugely over the course of his life: initially baroque, ornamental and expressionistic, his later work was characterized by more restrained aesthetics and, in the latter third of his life, became completely abstract.
Clavé trained at Barcelona’s School of Fine Arts, citing Bonnard and Rouault as early sources of inspiration. In 1949 he designed the theatre set for Roland Petit’s production of Carmen and by 1952 had been nominated for two Academy Awards for his work on the film Hans Christian Andersen. His work is held internationally and in numerous collections across Spain.
Morris Kestelman (1905 – 1998) was a British artist and teacher. Kestelman was a full-time art teacher and only began exhibiting on a regular basis towards the end of his life. Kestelman is probably best known for his depictions of French peasants, Spanish fishermen, circus artistes, and beautifully composed landscapes where light and shade alternate in playful, subtle games.
The solidity of his figures and his emphasis on movement gave his work a strong affinity with that of Bernard Meninsky, one of his teachers, while with Josef Herman he shared an interest in people at work and the rhythm of their bodies, echoed by shapes in the surrounding landscape.
Anthony Gross was born in London in 1905 and studied painting and engraving at the Slade. Later he studied in Paris and Madrid and spent much of his time in France. In 1940 Gross evacuated his family on one of the last ships to leave Bordeaux. He was appointed an Official War Artist and landed in Normandy with the Allied troops on D-Day, holding his materials aloft as he waded ashore.
Gross was very prolific, producing more than 500 pictures during the War. Post-war, he stayed in France before finally buying a house in the south-west in 1955 and settled into a pattern of living and working there during the summer but returning to London each winter. In 1980 he was elected an R.A. Gross died in 1984.
Nic Collins was born in 1958 in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. A self-taught potter and woodfirer, he started building kilns and wheels during his late teens and early 20s, experimenting with raku, salt glazing and sawdust firings, and using clay sourced from local river banks.
Nic Collins is viewed as one of the leading wood-firers of his generation, continually evolving his craft, developing his firing and kiln techniques, pushing himself to the very limit to achieve the beauty that he seeks.