Marlborough Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of recent work by Bill Jacklin, an artist who has shown with the gallery for over 35 years.
The exhibition coincides with Jacklin’s solo show of graphic works at the Royal Academy (3 June - 28 August 2016) and the publication of two new books: Bill Jacklin: Graphics (RA Publications, 2016) with writing by Jill Lloyd and Nancy Campbell and Bill Jacklin’s New York (Scala, 2016) featuring an introduction by Sting and interview with Michael Peppiatt.
Jacklin came to prominence in the 1960s in London as an abstract artist producing works made of grids and dots. Despite his success, Jacklin felt impelled to return to figuration, finding himself ostracised as 'a traitor to the cause of abstraction.' In 1985, Jacklin moved to Manhattan and found his muse in the subject of the city. Ever since, he has painted numerous scenes of New York including the pulsating energy of crowds in Times Square and Grand Central Station and figures diving into the waves in Coney Island. The works in the exhibition demonstrate Jacklin's continued exploration into people and place; the artist explains:
‘In New York I found a subject on every street corner. The city is a constant I am able to keep returning to as it’s always re-inventing itself. I am fascinated by the movement of people in New York and it’s that flux of energy that I paint about.’
This energy can be seen in the atmospheric urban portrait Sun, Rain and Snow over Fifth Avenue II (2015). Bustling figures stride across the street with coloured umbrellas, and despite the rain and snow, the light of the sun is starting to break through.
Self-described as a 'closet abstractionist', the abstract tendencies of Jacklin are present in his figurative works, as his city landscapes often appear as patterns of light and dark, making them simultaneously remote and familiar. In an impressionistic oil painting, Tempest in the Square NYC (2015), two figures run through a square, bent against a disorientating field of white snow. In the evocative diptych Sea and Stars at Night (2015), Jacklin responds to the illumination of stars over the sea at night. A beach is perceivable at the bottom of the canvas, with waves gentling crashing into the shore, the majority of the scene depicts a dark blue night sky sparkling with stars.
Jacklin was born in London in 1943 and studied graphics at Walthamstow School of Art, London (1960-61) before attending the Royal College of Art (1964-67). He was elected as a Royal Academician in 1991. His works are represented in collections worldwide including: British Museum (London); Tate (London); Victoria & Albert Museum (London); MoMA (New York); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); and Brooklyn Museum (New York). Museum of Modern Art Oxford held a retrospective of Jacklin’s work in 1992. He has participated in numerous exhibitions including at The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 1971), Musee d'Art Moderne (Paris, 1973) and Tate Gallery (London, 1981).