16 FEB 2012
New paintings by John Lendis
John Lendis (b.1950, British-Australian artist, mid-career)
25 February – 18 April 2012 (extended from 5 April 2012)
4-6pm, Saturday 25 February 2012
Celia Lendis Contemporary Gallery, High St, Moreton-in-Marsh, Cotswolds, GL56 0AF
Mysteries of the Cotswolds reveal another world
ʻRuskin spoke of the imagination as “brooding and dream-gifted”
and John Lendis's work is imbued with just such an imaginative spirit.'
Howard Hull, Director of the Ruskin Foundation and Brantwood Trust, Cumbria, UK
Thursday afternoon (2012), oil on linen, 90x190cm
John Lendis is a painter of landscapes for whom the very idea of ʻlandscape' includes within it human
emotions and memories. He grew up in Nottingham, but as a young artist spent years traveling through the
deserts of Afghanistan, the Middle East and Asia, before arriving in Tasmania, where he established himself
as an important contemporary Australian painter. Today, he lives and works in the Cotswolds and these
exciting new paintings seem to indicate that living in the area suits his artistic vision.
Since his arrival in 2010, Lendis has been struggling to come to terms with the remarkable intensity of the
seasons in this part of Britain. “These paintings were begun in October 2010,” Lendis explains, “during that
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incredibly beautiful autumn which arrived so suddenly – with such a shocking violence of colour – and which
then departed at an equally alarming speed, completely erased by a covering of thick, white snow.”
ʻWhen I drive through the same place on different days I am confronted by scenes of striking
intensity, created by mist, fog, rain or light; it is nothing short of disorienting.'
ʻThese paintings spring from my daily journeys through the Cotswolds – driving my children to school in
Hatherop, driving to my studio in Stowell Park, shopping in Cirencester, driving through Oxfordshire. The
paintings have grown out of these hallucinogenic encounters, mysterious moments, where I have been
overcome by a sudden jolt of awareness that my pragmatic act of driving along the same roads day after
day actually holds within it the sense that I am able to enter into a different world.'
Saturday (2012), oil on linen, 90x190cm
Prior to studying for his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Painting (1996, 2006), Lendis undertook a
Diploma in Textile Design in his hometown of Nottingham (1970) and the artist is somewhat surprised at how
this early attraction to patternmaking and the Arts and Crafts Movement of the 19th Century is present in this
exhibition of work.
Works of complexity and skill
ʻMaking these paintings was incredibly difficult,” Lendis explains, “it was such a technically complex process
and so mechanical – it reminded me so much of producing a wallpaper pattern or designing fabric. Normally,
in my painting, there is the beauty of a singular gesture of paint, a stroke that ʻcompletes' an image and is
unrepeatable. In these works, because they are reflections of themselves, that wasn't possible and I felt at
times that I was actually making ʻanti-paintings'.
ʻEvery stroke had to be replicated up-side-down or back-to-front and trying to build up the layers of glaze in
that way proved incredibly complicated. These works are incredibly dense as well and the intensity of colour
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and detail, plus working in glazes with the reflected subjects, requires sustained months of brainpower as
well as the normal demands of painting.'
An International Career
With more than 26 solo exhibitions in Australia, New
Zealand and the United Kingdom, John Lendis
continues to exhibit internationally and his work is
the subject of numerous critical reviews and essays.
He has work in both public and private collections in
the UK and Australia.
Lendis's paintings often engage with historical
expressions of meta-narratives: stories such as the
Crusades, the search for a promised land or the
holy grail and with the margins of great historical
adventures such as the building and subsequent
dissolving of ʻEmpire'. The artist personalises these
narratives and they find connection with his own life,
infusing his paintings with references to earlier
artists and/or writers, who have dealt with similar
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
For information, high resolution images or to
arrange an interview with the artist, please
contact the gallery by phone: 01608 650852
(Int: +44 1608 650852) or:
Celia Lendis Contemporary represents artists of integrity whose work expresses an authentic
vision, commitment to craftsmanship and an intellectual engagement with the world.
Based in the north Cotswolds town of Moreton-in-Marsh and open since July 2010, Celia Lendis
Contemporary is a member of the selective art and antiques association, LAPADA Modern, and has
exhibited at the Works on Paper Art Fair, Olympia International Fine Art & Antiques Fair and the LAPADA Art
& Antiques Fair at Berkeley Square in London.
Celia Lendis Contemporary
High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh
The Cotswolds, GL56 0AF
T: 01608 650 852
16 FEB 2012
Gallery hours: MON-SAT 10-5pm (Closed Tuesdays)
Regular, direct trains run from London Paddington & Oxford. The gallery is 300m from train station.