The Lanchester Research Gallery invites you to the exhibition Stillness and Motion which brings together a selection of works created by Gary Wragg between 1963 and 2019. The exhibition opens on Thursday the 13th of June with a private view from 18:00–21:00 and then continues until the 5th of July.
Born in High Wycombe in 1946 Gary Wragg was educated at High Wycombe School of Art, Camberwell College of Art and the Slade School of Art. He has exhibited widely across the United Kingdom and internationally and in 1972 he was awarded the Boise Travelling Scholarship to the U.S.A and Mexico.
Wragg has been making artwork for over 50 years and it is more than 35 years since his last exhibition in Coventry, at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in 1982. When we look at the breadth of the work that he has created during this time, a significant feature of his approach is that he produces work in series. Paintings in each of these different groupings often have a shared set of visual concerns, but the resulting paintings can often look very different from each other. They are each arrived at through a process that involves a complete immersion within the activity of painting and an openness to exploring new possibilities. There is both an intelligence and expressiveness in the building up of each painting and the level of control that Wragg exercises; the resultant paintings are varied yet distinctly part of the series to which they belong.
Rather than show a single series of work, this exhibition has brought together paintings from different series in order to show the breadth of Wragg’s visual enquiry. The twenty-two artworks in the exhibition offer a glimpse into multiple points in time; from his student works of the 1960s up until his most recent creations. The exhibition serves as a window into the subtle modulations and transformations that occur, both within and across, series of paintings and how they oscillate between being visually loud, active and shifting, or quiet, delicate and still.
The inclusion of Wragg’s early student works enables visitors to the exhibition to observe the full development of his practice and it is evident that his time at High Wycombe was as important an experience as the time he spent later at colleges of art in London. It was during the four years he spent there (1962-1966) that he first found himself drawn to the work of painter Henri Matisse and, importantly, the poetic freedom of mind that he found in the writings of Paul Klee. Wragg would draw and paint from life, exploring High Wycombe and also visit museums in London.
These frequent visits to London during the early 1960s, where he attended exhibitions at both the Whitechapel Chapel Gallery and the Tate Gallery, stoked Wragg’s interest in abstract expressionism. In a journal entry from 1964, Wragg writes about the Tate gallery exhibition Painting & Sculpture of a Decade 54-64 (1964), where he saw the work of Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning and other Abstract Expressionists, along with painters who had responded to their works. Wragg wrote that whilst he knew that painting had already moved on from Abstract Expressionism, he felt there was something compelling about the work. These early experiences of art became some of the building blocks for Wragg’s attitude towards making that has steadily developed over the years.
Exhibition continues until the 5th of July between 10:00 and 16:00 on Tuesday to Thursdays, for appointments outside these
times please contact Matthew Macaulay at: email@example.com
Lanchester Research Gallery
Graham Sutherland Building, Cox St, Coventry CV1 5PH