Saturday, February 08, 2014

10 artists that make RCA Secret

We first did this feature a few years ago but thought we would re-run it in the run-up to the 2014 sale with 10 different artists, all of whom are regular contributors to the sale. These names may not be the household names that trip off everyone’s tongue but they are all artists who have supported RCA secret every year for many years and therefore deserve a mention and support. This is just my personal list - what is yours?

1. Paul Benjamins – working out of his studio in a Victorian house in Peckham Paul Benjamins has been producing his extraordinary abstract paintings for many years. He has been contributing cards to RCA secret for as long as I have been going – miniature examples of his colourful abstracts that draw influences from the urban environment in which he operates. He’s also a top bloke as well even though he is a Chelsea fan. He hosts regular open houses in conjunction with the Dulwich Open House season and I would thoroughly recommend going along for a glass of wine and a look at his amazing works.

2. Ray Richardson – another south Londoner Ray invariably puts pencil to card for his RCA secret contributions of dogs and south london “geezers” as he describes them. His cinematic figurative paintings have led to him having a loyal following with many collectors. A contemporary of Damien Hirst at Goldsmiths college Ray has admirably ploughed his own furrow, eschewing conceptual art for painting.

3. Richard Davidson – a former lawyer who sensibly gave up law to pursue his love of paintings Richard still paints the trappings of his former life – office shoes and shirts etc. Look out also for the odd tree, pillow or even a cupcake!

4. Guy Allott – robots, space, mystical worlds seen through holes in trees, what’s not to love about the work of this hugely talented painter and print-maker based in London but with a raft of international shows coming up for 2014.

5. Glen Baxter – whimsical paintings and drawings of his trademark characters are classic Glen Baxter, often with his own joke at the art-world’s expense. His drawing in 2013 of the man putting his hand through the Mondrian was genius. Well done to whoever picked up that card.

6. Elinor Evans - a painting graduate of the college a few years ago who now lives in spain with her menagerie in spain including picasso, whisky and coke and various others all of whom feature in Elinor's fantastic paintings.

7. Vicky Finding Vicky has been contributing paintings to the sale for years. In 2009 her style was confused for Gerhard Richter's - not a bad compliment. I think she turns out beautiful abstract paintings on thick card that really stand out. I have a lovely one myself.

8. Baroness Carrie Von Reichardt - spot a ceramic tile with a political message and you've probably noticed a work by the self styled renegade potter whose projects away from RCA secret inspire and awe in equal measure.

9. Rose Wylie - What to say about Rose Wylie whose contributions to RCA secret often seem to go unmentioned and uncommented upon despite Rose being in the autumn of her career with a retrospective at the Jerwood gallery under her belt. Hopefully this redresses that slightly!

10. Nicholas Middleton - extraordinary photorealistic paintings of ordinary scenes are Nicholas Middleton's stock in trade. Flick through them on screen and you will decide they are a photograph. Study them in person and you realise, amazingly, that they are not.

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