ref: f3q Jun 23-Jul 28 2012 THE ART SHOP A Given Glory - George Rowlett’s Flower Paintings - Open a 'pdf' of this press release - return to Galleries PR Index


A Given Glory - George Rowlett’s Flower Paintings

Courtesy Art Space Gallery, London

23 June - 28 July 2012

Private View Friday 22 June 7-9pm

I always take a five-litre tin of Stokes Titanium white, two and a half of

Bright Red, two and a half of Chrome Lemon and the same of Spectrum

Ultramarine... This was George Rowlett in 2004 telling John Lessore

about the nuts and bolts of his painting. That interview gave a refreshing,

insider’s view of an artist who is so devoted to his work that he rises at

5am and paints every day.

Whether East Kent landscapes, the River Thames, the Alps, his telling self

portraits - or as here, of flowers - George Rowlett’s images are passionate

responses to the ever-changing quality of light. Painting with brushes made

him too facile, he says, so now he uses broad palette knives, spatulas and

his fingers, forcing himself to look, think, and look again before plastering

the surface with impasto. When in London, he likes to paint the Thames,

attracted by the river’s mythologies, its smells, its decay and regeneration”.

George Rowlett’s flower paintings are often of specific species. They are

always seen close to, either in vases or rioting in his garden - Honeymoon

& Lavon lilies, Lilium Minorca, Geranium Psylostemon, Rose ‘Danse du

Feu’, rose pink Perpetue, the opium poppies and Jerusalem Sage. There

are hyacinths, hydrangeas, daffodils, tulips, and recently, Two Pots of January


With some of his paintings, the surfaces are so thick and chaotic that you

have to stand back in order to ‘get’ what they are. That’s when you see the

structure under the skin.

Ties of affection bring the images to life in another way: the series Marion’s

Sweet Peas refers to his wife and his 19th century walled garden. Being up

close and personal to his subjects has other advantages: happy accidents

can change everything, as in the thrush which arrived at the last minute

in Lilies Honeymoon & Lavon, Young Thrush on a Bench, Walmer (2009),

and the butterfly which tipped the balance for Lilium Minorca, Nine

Opium Poppies and Meadow Brown (2010). George Rowlett’s devotion

to four simple colours has relented only once, when he introduced Alizarin

Crimson to honour his father-in-law. He was a joyous person... [and] it

was in his spirit”. It could be his own epitaph.

Caroline Juler, art critic & Wales correspondent for Galleries magazine



01873 852690

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