Jake Attree and Sheila Fell (RA)

21st March, 2024

A welcome to Jake Attree

We’re proud to announce our collaboration with Jake Attree, one of the most respected of contemporary artists at work in the UK today. The initial selection of new-to-the-world works comprise six oil paintings and two oil pastels, three of which explore Jake’s fascination bordering on obsession with the paintings of Peter Bruegel the elder.

Paint almost like tapestry

We’ve long been admirers of Jake's work, I think since we viewed an exhibition of his at Messums, Mayfair many years ago. A Royal Academy Schools graduate, Jake’s painting technique is instantly recognisable; an impasto application that very often has a structure and order about it, almost tapestry-like, but which at the same time feels free and loose, quite the achievement. The gallery is filled with the smell of oil paint and linseed, there’s no better scent in an art gallery than that.

Sheila Fell (RA) acquisitions

We’ve recently sold two fine works by the late Sheila Fell (RA), and we’ve been fortunate enough to acquire two more from a private collection; one we owned and sold several years ago, so we’re welcoming back an old friend ready for its next custodian, the other new to the gallery. Both have a something in common, they were part of Sheila’s last ever exhibition at the New Grafton Gallery, London in Nov-Dec 1979. In fact, this exhibition was running at the time of Sheila’s tragic death at the age of just forty-eight. It was during that exhibition that she was interviewed by Hunter Davies for the Sunday Times. In that, she asserted “I also intend to live until 104. I’ve promised myself I will. It’s what keeps me going when I worry if I’ll ever have time to do all the paintings in my head.” Sheila died just days later.

Hazelwood's House, Aspatria 1979

Hazelwood’s House, Aspatria, 1979 is a depiction of a property which would have been so familiar to Sheila, being just yards away across the street from her childhood home, and the home still occupied by her mother (her father Jack had died three years prior). It’s a fine example of how Sheila’s work during much of the 1970s had moved away from the heavy, dramatic and brooding landscapes which typified much of her 1950s and 1960s creativity. Arguably more accessible, lighter in tone and feel and decidedly more recognisable, one can only guess at how her work would have travelled thereafter, had she lived.

Aspatria from Back Lane, 1979

Aspatria from Back Lane, 1979 is another example of her 1970s transition; the heavy clouds remain, but almost with a feel that light is breaking through and the day improving, rather than the storm clouds are closing in; a fine work from her very last year. 

All for now, we have three works by Sheila currently on show in the gallery, as well as the new works by Jake; as usual, a lot besides.

Steve and Christine

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