A private view of Anthony Whishaw’ s exhibition, ‘Forces of Nature’, was recently held in the Africa House headquarters of Mishcon de Reya. The exhibition, curated by Selina Skipwith, is on until the end of March and displays Whishaw’s body of work painted over the last 15 years, drawing on his fascination with the natural and urban environment. The exhibition also includes a bronze sculpture of Whishaw’s hand created by sculptor and fashion designer Nicole Farhi, who also attended the private view.
In the displayed pieces, Whishaw’s intricate working of acrylic creates a unique sense of depth and visual trickeries. His style is one of exploration and evolution; in a sense, independent from the art historical canon. His art can be seen as a reflection of this fundamental commitment to diversity over uniformity.
Whishaw attended London’s Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art between 1948 and 1955. He was initially intrigued by the experimental artists of the time, from the thorny landscapes of Graham Sutherland to the distorted figures of Francis Bacon. In the summer before his final year at Chelsea, Whishaw went to Ibiza, where he then developed a profound passion for Spanish artists such as Goya and his unflinching portrayals of human emotion.
By the 1960s, Whishaw’s interests turned to the abstract expressionists who were paving the way in America, such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko. Inspired by their sense of freedom from historical representation, Whishaw moved into abstractionism, making the style his own by experimenting and exploring the boundaries of painting.
In 1980, Whishaw was elected to the RA. Over the years, he has had a global presence in many international institutions, museums, corporate collections and private collections including: Arts Council; European Parliament, Strasbourg; Government Art Collection; Museo de Arte Moderno, Murcia, Spain; Museo de Bahia, Brazil; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; National Gallery of Wales; Seattle Museum of Art, USA; Sharjah Museum, UAE; The Royal Collection and Tate Gallery.
He has received a number of awards and accolades, including the Perth International Drawing Biennial Prize, the Greater London Arts Association Grant, the Arts Council of Great Britain Award and the Lorne Scholarship, among others.
Further works by Whishaw can be seen later this year in the annual Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy and also a Solo Exhibition at the Canwood Gallery in Herefordshire this July. He will also be having solo shows at the Fine Art Society and the Royal Academy of Arts in 2020 in celebration of his 90th birthday.
Experiences of Nature: Anthony Whishaw RA
Canwood Gallery, Herefordshire HR1 4NF
1 July – 30 July 2018
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 – 17:00, Closed Mondays