press release

The Directors of Marlborough Fine Art are delighted to announce their first London exhibition of paintings by Clive Head. This exhibition comprises of 15 paintings founded on the Artist’s meticulous observations of the urban environment. With breathtaking clarity, Head has painted the cities of Prague, Moscow, Rome, Geneva and, most frequently, London. Beyond the details of familiar streets, landmarks and skylines, these paintings are suffused with natural light, and often settle upon the rhythms of moving water and fleeting cloudscapes. Head also turns his attention on the city’s inhabitants, painting passers-by and friends and family. St.Paul’s from Blackfriars Bridge is a vast panorama of the Thames with the dome of St.Paul’s and the towers of the City lit by a rising sun. Trafalgar presents a portrait of the artist’s wife quietly reading in an empty café against an expansive backdrop of Trafalgar Square.

There is a fully illustrated catalogue to accompany this exhibition in which an exchange of emails between Head and fellow artist Robert Neffson in New York discusses the evolution of these paintings over the past two years. It gives an insight into a creative process based on drawings, figure studies and documentary film. In his introduction Robert Neffson writes:

“When I first saw Clive Head's paintings in a New York City gallery, I thought he was American. His work was fresh, confidently straightforward, and of a bracing clarity. Yet his painting went far beyond a simple photographic transcription to show a deep understanding of the language and rich possibilities of Western painting. He was able to combine a European feel for the illusive tactile expression of paint with a precise sense of form, integrity, and order. Finding out his British heritage seemed to make sense.

These paintings show a deep, sophisticated aesthetic sense. They are made with great skill, an understanding of life and how it can be transfigured forcefully, filtered through a sensibility of great subtlety. Beyond their obvious expressiveness, they show the tremendous courage required to make images of maturity and seriousness of purpose in an age where everything in our culture looks the other way, where mediocrities with far fewer gifts and adolescent goals are all the rage. When an artist like Clive Head has the vision and strength of character to go against the mainstream culture, this is truly the avant garde.”

Clive Head
New Paintings