It is the first time an exhibition has been mounted spanning the artist’s entire career. It includes a life painting completed when at art school in the 1970s through to his most recent painting after a Van Eyck from the National Gallery, London.
Andrew Churchill, gallery director, said: “Much of Piers Ottey’s (b1955) painting derives from visiting places at home and abroad. He has worked on images from the mountains of Switzerland to city paintings of San Francisco as well as his beloved London where he was born and raised and West Sussex where he has lived since 1980. His work continues to be concerned with colour as well as with the relationship between natural space and flat surface geometry. He has exhibited internationally.”
Andrew added: “We are enormously proud that Piers Ottey has entrusted us with mounting the largest exhibition of his paintings to date and the first to span nearly 50 years of his work. It is particularly thrilling that all the work will be for sale and includes rare early works completed in the 1970s when at Chelsea School of Art.
“The exhibition could well have been called Things I Love because Piers only paints what really matters to him. However of equal importance to him is the act of painting and the formal aspects that go with it. The mystery of putting colour down on a flat surface to represent a view of often great depth, particularly in the landscapes and cityscapes, without creating a copy of what he sees is central to his practice. The artist has written a short text to accompany each work in the exhibition which gives a fascinating insight into his work. All these texts are gathered in a new book being published to accompany the exhibition.”
Andrew added: “It has a been a privilege to work with Piers on the selection for the exhibition. Over five decades of painting has been extraordinary to survey. What became quickly apparent is that whilst Piers’ painting has evolved and developed, particularly triggered by visiting new places or relocations of his studio, the central five themes of his work have remained constant. Landscape and cityscape have always been of great interest to him, as has painting from life-models, particularly influenced by his art school training in Chelsea. Piers has an enormously rich library of art books collected over many years and he is always in touch with the art of the past. More recently he has begun to paint his own versions of his favourite Old Masters. And finally portraits; of himself, his family, his beloved dog Audrey and his equally beloved motorbikes run through his work over an extraordinary career spanning nearly 50 years and still going strong!.”
“Published to accompany the exhibition is the first book to cover the full length and breadth of his career. Five decades of painting by the artist Piers Ottey are gathered into the central themes of his work: Landscapes, Cityscapes, Portraits, Life Painting and The Masters.”