If you have any plans to wander around and wonder at the autumn leaves in Richmond Park this month, then tie in a trip with a visit to Richmond Hill Gallery, which has a show of works on paper – paintings, monotypes, carborundums and screenprints – by Academician Barbara Rae.
Rae’s exuberantly colourful landscapes, however, are hardly autumnal: the four seasons predominate in one kaleidoscopic picture. The Falkirk-born artist has recently been working in both Andalusia and County Mayo in Ireland, and in a painting like Western Inlet, for example, the purples and yellows of a Spanish summer sunset find their way into the wintry blues of what might be an Irish coast.
But lovers of Rae’s work are not just drawn to their colours, but to the artist’s highly gestural and inventive brushwork, more akin to American Abstract Expressionism than the English landscape tradition.
In Zalea Finca, light blue, purple and green gestural splodges are the trees that populate a hillside in Granada – as writer and filmmaker Gareth Wardell notes in the show’s exhibition catalogue, her works capture how 'she experiences a landscape' rather than the landscape itself. The artist’s crisp sense of composition means that her aesthetic translates very well to the mediums of printmaking; indeed, sometimes her monotypes inspire series of paintings, rather than vice versa.
To find out more about Rae’s work and working methods, read Sarah Greenberg’s ‘Out to Lunch’ interview from RA Magazine, Spring 2010.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine