Art Gallery visit – Hepworth gallery, Wakefield including work from Kettles Yard, Cambridge

Before the OCA study visit started, I allowed some time to visit the rest of the gallery as I had already read online about some of the great works it had. As Kettles Yard is being refurbished in Cambridge, a lot of works from there were also being shown.


Anthony Caro – Nude 1986

This simple life drawing caught my eye. I like the confident marks, most done only once and a few others refined with two or three marks. The shadows are done simply with side of charcoal to give blunt edges. Again, it seems a confident look. The composition is simple but interesting as we are viewing upwards. There is no background to give any context as the figure floats in air! The proportions are good with a large foreshortened foot. It looks elegant and was probably done in 10 or 20 minutes??


Ben Nicholson – Bertha no 2 1924

This looks better in real life than the photo. It is quite crudely painted with a graphite outline plainly visible, and thick brush strokes. There are just large blocks of colour in beige tones with only the face blended a little more.

I like the expression which is distant and looking away. There is little detail, no eyelashes for instance. The paint is thin and I can see the grey  ground in places.


Christopher Woods – Boy with cat 1926

This looks like it was painted in a hurry, with the clothes and cat in a rough thin style, almost like an underpainting, compared to the more stylised face. There are pencil marks everywhere, and I even found two faces to the side of the main face, in pencil as if he had been planning more figures.

The canvas is elongated and it looks as if he painted the figure to fit the canvas! The eyes of the boy and cat are both blue and similar looking. The lips of the boy look too stylised, like he’s wearing lipstick as the edges are too sharp. The cat has its claws out like its ready to pounce!

I looked into more work of this artist after the visit, and was sad to see he died under a train aged 29.


David Hockney – the arrival of spring in Waldgate woods 2011

I knew this was Hockney, before reading the label. I’ve seen his charcoal wood drawings, which have a great variety of marks and use of negative shapes that I see echoed here. I was surprised to see it’s drawn on an ipad, which is something I’m yet to try.

The vivid greens and yellow make me feel as if I’m standing in a Spring wood. I really like the variety of mark making used. It’s a change from his flat 60’s stuff.


Sunken line – Clare Woods 2016

I was drawn to this because of my recent painting on metal – and this is on aluminium. The way the large brush strokes have picked up different colours across it reminds me of the style of Mimei Thompson. It is quite abstract, I picked up a forest like part to it, but could not fathom the pink and white structures at all. Spilt liquid? Heated wax? A fellow OCA visit student had no better luck. I like it though, because of the different colours across the brush. It perhaps doesn’t even need the flat pink and white bits. I shall have to look at more of this artist’s work and see what her themes are.



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