The New English Art Club’s (NEAC) annual exhibition at Mall Galleries in London opens on June 23, offering visitors the chance to experience some of the UK’s best new figurative art – as viewed through the lens of other highly respected and established artists.
Most of the work on show is available for sale – and is relatively affordable – the average price for exhibited work last year was £2,295 – with artwork chosen for the exhibition after a rigorous selection process by artists themselves.
Peter Brown, the NEAC’s President said; “The Annual Exhibition is one of the purest ways to experience the best figurative, painterly work in the UK. We are not showing the paintings art dealers think will pay their gallery’s rent. We are in a unique position to provide a forum where figurative artists show their very best, most authentic pieces. This is artists painting for each other which results in a very healthy level of competition and work which reflects the fact that their audience is their colleagues, who have the best eye.”
There will be around 400 paintings, drawings and prints for sale at this year’s Annual Exhibition, which represent the UK’s very best figurative, observational and painterly work. Work shown is by both well-known artists who are NEAC elected members and by emerging artists who have submitted fresh work to the show.
The NEAC exhibition aims to take some of the guesswork out of buying art, with established artists giving each piece of work shown their stamp of approval. The artistic value of each work shown is also ensured by the freedom with which artists have been given to select and interpret their chosen subject. This is also thanks to the unique identity of Mall Galleries. Managed by the Federation of British Artists, the gallery exists as a visual arts charity to empower and support figurative artists.
The NEAC Annual Exhibition deliberately has no theme, preferring for artists to lead the topic of conversation. The organiers said that this allows artists to celebrate the most everyday of sights and things. The exhibition reflects the concerns of the moment, managing to “capture the magic and poetry of everyday life” by turning the most prosaic of things and situations into a piece of art. Amongst the works to be shown is a painting of an electricity meter entitled The Thief by Neil Cunning which reflects the current Cost of Living crisis and a painting of London road works Road Works SE1 by John Walsom.
NEAC President Peter Brown said; “When commercial pressures are removed from the equation, and artists are given the chance to paint and draw exactly what inspires them, art is able to perform two of its most important functions – to allow us to look at daily life with fresh eyes and to reflect and record what is happening right now. An electricity meter and functional road signs are made a thing of beauty in paint and also provide a snapshot into an unrepeatable moment of time.”Elsewhere, at a time when not one photograph of our travels or holidays is special – thanks to the sheer number most people take on their phones – the exhibition demonstrates the power of art to immortalise the beauty of travel and of place. Many of the works to be shown include notable locations in the UK and abroad, whose unique magic and identity are brought alive by paint and mark-making. Peter Brown said; “The urge to record is always there as a painter. We are always looking for something new. Sometimes we find it far from home and often we find it at the end of our road, on a window sill or in our head.”