New exhibition at Beverley Art Gallery presents the work of British artist John Sprakes

Tue, 10 Mar 2020

A new exhibition opening at Beverley Art Gallery on Saturday, 14 March, 'Journey Into Abstraction', will be a retrospective exhibition of the contemporary British artist John Sprakes, whose career spans over 60 years of painting and shows.

John studied at Edinburgh College of Art and later worked as a college lecturer for 36 years.

In his early work, John focused on realistically depicting traditional formats, such as landscapes and portraits. Often using old toys, hats and costumes in his compositions, John's still-lives were characterised by a sense of mystery. His love of nature is visible in his many landscapes, especially those inspired by Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Northumberland.

Over time, John arrived at fully embracing the abstract aesthetics. His paintings are full of vivid colours, and many use collage-like layers of papers, achieving an almost three dimensional effect.

Curator Helena Cox explains: "What I find especially fascinating about John's work is that he started off as a figurative painter. His canvases often showed still-life compositions with a sense of mystery, as well as landscapes from all over the UK. John's work was very well received and he exhibited numerous times across the whole country.

"However, as the years passed by, John developed a passion for abstract art, and gradually started loosening up his compositions, turning them into a visual feast of shapes and colours.

"I am delighted that the exhibition in Beverley will show paintings from each period in John's journey, uncovering the exciting transition from realism to abstract art. Just as Spring will be on our doorstep, Beverley Art Gallery's walls will come alive with an outburst of colour!"

John Sprakes added :  "Abstraction has allowed me to pursue a personal vision that is full of movement, colour, texture and gesture."

The exhibition runs until Saturday, 30 May.

Visitors can also enjoy another current exhibition in the Treasure House, 'Reading the Landscape - Photographs and Words Inspired by Walking the Wolds' and runs until 6 June.  The exhibition has been produced with photographer Peter Heaton.

Beverley Art Gallery is situated in the Treasure House in Champney Road, and admission is free. There is a café in the Treasure House, to accompany any visit to the Art Gallery.

Opening hours are :

  • Mon 9.30am - 5pm
  • Tue 9.30am - 8pm
  • Wed 9.30am - 5pm
  • Thu 9.30am - 8pm
  • Fri 9.30am - 5pm
  • Sat 9am - 4pm
  • Sun Closed

For full details of Beverley Art Gallery exhibitions and the Treasure House, opening hours, and all facilities, visit www.eastridingmuseums.co.uk

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