My Back to Nature – a free exhibition of more than fifty new paintings and drawings – is the result of George Shaw’s two-and-a-half years as the National Gallery’s Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist.
Based in a studio located in the heart of the National Gallery, Shaw had swift and unrestricted access to the Gallery to explore the collection out of hours at his leisure, draw from the pictures, observe the public, and find inspiration in great art for his own work. The result is predominantly woodland landscapes, ones that investigate the clash of cultures; classical stories linked with the traces of similar, timeless behaviour in the modern world; and the portrayal of religion.
National Gallery Director Dr Gabriele Finaldi, says “George Shaw’s paintings tap into popular British culture and the tradition of the great masters. The result is by turns witty, moving, and irreverent. The body of works he produced at the National Gallery offers a fresh and energising response to the paintings of Titian, Poussin, and Constable and we are delighted to share it with so many UK venues.”
“George Shaw is the kind of painter Britain does best, a close observer who on this evidence has the sharp eye of a Freud or Hockney. He’s still in his 40s. Can’t wait to see his work when he is 80.”
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian
“It casts light on Titian. It casts light on the National Gallery. It even casts light - of a murky, Coventry intensity - on what art is supposed to do. Add all that up and you have a profound achievement.”
Waldemar Januszczak, The Sunday Times