Picture: Arabian Stallion on precipice. Plain background. Oils on linen.
The Horse – an exhibit by James Gillick – runs at Sladmore Contemporary Gallery, Mayfair, London, from 7-28 June. The exhibition runs in partnership with the Jonathan Cooper Gallery Chelsea.
Artist James Gillick, who is featured in depth in this edition, has captured the true personality of the Arabian horse through his work that, in addition, also features thoroughbreds and polo ponies.
“James Gillick is a painter of remarkable virtuosity, with a devotion to craftsmanship,” reads the official press release. “Since he was young, he has been aiming to achieve ‘permanence and luminosity’. To quote his admirer Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, such infinite care belongs to a ‘venerable tradition’.”
“James is obsessed with the making of his pieces,’ writes Gerry Farrell of Sladmore. “He handcrafts all the materials in his studio from oil paints, waxes and glues, to the varnishes, canvases and stretchers. He deliberately uses a limited palette, having prepared the oils from the purest pigments.”
James paints with colours used by the famed artists from 1600-1750 – flake white, iron oxide yellow, raw sienna, burnt sienna, burnt umber, ivory black, French ultramarine and alizarian crimson, the latter two coming later than the others. “This palette gives his paintings a deep and lasting richness, making them immediately recognisable as his,” says Gerry.
James Gillick travelled to Kuwait, where he met important breeders, owners and devotees of straight Egyptian Arabian horses. He was introduced to member of The Pyramid Society, Bait Al Arab, Mr Mohammed Jassim Al Marzouq of Ajmal Arabian Stud, and Judith Forbis, founder of Ansata Stud.
James is based in the UK, where he works in a series of studios near Lincolnshire. He is available to talk about his inspiring visit to Kuwait and the reasons why his art has been galvanised by his love of the Arabian horse.
Sladmore, established in 1965, specialises in equine sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries by great artists such as Bugatti and Degas, leading to contemporary stars like Nic Fiddian Green, unequalled for his mastery of the monumental neo-classical horse’s head in London. When Gerry discovered the paintings of James, with his deep feeling for the inner spirit of horse, they seemed a perfect fit for the Sladmore stable.
James’s own words express his passionate commitment to the horse: “Their movement is hypnotising because it is so beautiful, their lack of guile, their willingness, their courageousness at times.”
This exhibition of his new horse paintings at Sladmore Contemporary, with Jonathan Cooper Gallery, will express the sheer effervescence of the Arabian.
Find out more about James at www.gillick-artist.com and Sladmore Contemporary at www.slademorecontemporary.com or call 0207 499 0365.