John Vickery, (Seated Nude), c. 1967, acrylic on canvas, 143 x 174cm
Charles Nodrum Gallery presents work from the John Vickery Estate.
An excerpt from Charles Nodrum’s introductory essay: “I had often wondered what had happened in the intervening years to explain the dramatic move between the artist’s decidedly organic Cruciform series of the late 1950s and the decidedly rigorous optical works of the late 1960s – examples of which we’ll display during this exhibition, uncatalogued. Professionally, the artist had become disillusioned by the New York art world and in his personal life there had been tensions in the marriage. The latter were resolved and they decided to move to New Jersey where they bought a house in 1960. The next years were somewhat fallow, with energy devoted to brightening the house and building the studio.”
“Fast forward to Richmond in 2022, on a visit to Rhonda Dredge (Margaret Dredge’s daughter, who now handles the Vickery Estate), looking through folders of works on paper, some possible bridges started to form between the two series of works, and this show goes some way to sharing them.Whilst only a few works are dated (hence the title of the show) the first move Vickery made after the Cruciforms seems to have taken him back to the human figure, which he had handled skilfully throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The process of going backwards is not uncommon amongst artists in all disciplines on the basis of the French expression “reculer pour mieux sauter” – to jump further you need to go back to get a better run up. From a handful of pencil drawings of standing and reclining nudes (no. 2 (Reclining nude), c. 1965), he moves his medium to felt tip pen in primary colours and radically reduces the figure to a series of suggestive lines (no. 9 Nude 2, 1967) – which develop into stylishly bold paintings on canvas (no. 5 Homage, c. 1967 and no. 6 (Seated nude), c. 1967).”
Opening Event: Saturday 20 August, 3 – 5pm