Monday, 22 February 2010

Roger Cecil

Roger Cecil - Rising Up

We are very pleased at Oriel Myrddin Gallery to be originating a solo show in 2011 for Roger Cecil; Valley's painter based in Abertillery. Roger's show Cariad was shown at the gallery in 2006 (before I started working there). He is a remarkable artist, and in my eyes, underestimated for the exceptional work he has produced through his long career.

I first saw his work in London in the mid-late 90's at one of the big art fairs in Islington's Business Design Centre. A minimal, blacked plaster image with marks and patterns in its surface - it stood out to me as the best work I'd seen that day and I began to follow his career. I next went along to an opening for him in Cork Street with his gallery at the time, Gordon Hepworth and bought a small piece of his work (above). I had no idea at this time that he lived in Wales, I knew nothing of him except his work. Reading the exhibition catalogue I found out a bit about him, suddenly it seemed so obvious he was a Welshman!

Roger is now a friend and I'm very lucky to have a few of his works on my walls which are very highly treasured. I was asked to write a little piece for the Western Mail newspaper a couple of years past with the title My Favourite Work of Art - it's about the work shown above:

My favourite work of art is always in flux, my passions shift as my own ideas evolve – there is a trail of ‘favourites’ like way-markers throughout my own development. However I do own a little painting by the Valley’s artist Roger Cecil called ‘Rising Up’ which is a quiet but abiding influence and presence in my life. It is 20 x 25 cm, mixed media on canvas – a simple abstract composition but alive with the instinctively pure compositional vision which is present in all Roger’s work. The surface of finely polished plaster, grate blacking and oil paint scratched through with little lines and marks is refined and almost crafted, but in no way inhibits the spontaneity of the work. He manages a lovely and enviable balancing act between freedom and discipline, simplicity and sophistication. Joan Miró said “It is essential to have your feet firmly planted on the soil in order to leap into the air” and this tiny painting reminds me that the best work (and probably the best life) is always grounded and honest.

1 comment:

  1. I went to the Secret Artist Postcard Exhibition today and the piece that caught my eye and I was lucky to buy was by Roger Cecil. I would love to be able to pass on to him, how much I adore his painting. I let my inner feelings guide me to choosing "the one" out of several thousand postcards. Do let him know I will treasure this piece and I will have it framed without glass as this is a piece to be touched, to feel the textures. Its a piece that demands to be touched as in one little painting there is so much going on, you can just close your eyes and run the tip of a finger over it, and it takes you on a journey. Eeeekkk its fabulous. Thank-you so much. Elle.


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