It is not unusual for an artist to find his true voice mid-life. Barnett Newman claimed that he finished his ‘first painting’ on his fifty-third birthday, having already been painting for a quarter of a century. Perhaps especially for artists growing up after the first revolutions of modern art, there was a need to feel their way forward amongst a confusion of options. This is more unusual in the case of an artist, such as Alan Reynolds, who is loudly celebrated from the outset and who then turns his back on popularity, quietly to pursue his inner convictions; he spent his lifetime investigating the interplay between horizontal and vertical, shadow and light.
For fifty years Alan Reynolds has been described as an abstract or ‘concrete’ artist. At the beginning of his career he was often referred to as a landscape painter, from which his later abstract paintings developed. However, in 1967 he abandoned painting entirely and began to create constructed reliefs, which led him to make only white reliefs, tonal drawings and woodcuts for the last forty years of his life.
This exhibition includes work from 1951, the beginning of his career, and goes up to Reynolds’s last works from 2014. Some of the works in this exhibition have never been shown before and the artist’s development to become more and more abstract can be followed through the work over the years. The exhibition is separated between the two floors of the gallery with the earlier, more figurative and abstract paintings on the third floor and the later reliefs, drawings and prints on the fourth floor.