Paul Yates Spring Exhibition – 11 years in creation – opens on Easter Saturday 3rd April 2021

The Spring Exhibition from the studio of Paul Yates launches over the Easter weekend.

The twelve works are a truly eclectic blend of subjects and techniques. Yates has no set style or subject matter, his imagination wanders at will. In this exhibition we have a work which has taken some eleven years to attain a state the artist is happy to ‘let go.’ 

The geneses of Yates’s paintings can be long and complex, in this selection we also see the beginnings of what may be a new series, ROAD WORKINGS, grown out of Yates superb reinvention of the classic MADONNA AND CHILD theme in his last exhibition. With MONSIEUR BRASSAU and MUTT’S THREE GRACES, Yates embraces Art history with fresh and bold paintings that are intuitive, daring and respectful of Surrealist traditions.

Speaking of the new works, Yates’s patron Lord Glentoran said, “Paul Yates remains one of the most original and imaginative of contemporary British artists at work today”.

The full exhibition is:


30cms x 15cms / 12 ” x 6″
acrylics on canvas

This small work from the LEGION series took eleven years to complete. Like many of Yates’s paintings it was visited from time to time for tiny enhancements or to be left alone for a further period until just the right mark making could be executed.


31cms x 24 cms / 12″ X 9″
blotting paper collage and vintage inks on 1950’s trade desk blotter

A pen and drip ink portrait of the pupil from the artist’s primary school entrusted with the alchemical process of mixing a tiny tin of Stephens’s blue black ink powder in a pint jug of water, stirring it thoroughly with a wooden knitting needle for sixty seconds, then leaving it to set for five minutes before passing solemnly around the classroom to fill the ink well on each desk.


30cms x 30 cms / 12″ x 12″
painted assemblage

This rag doll somehow found its way into Yates’s studio and took up residence as a curiosity before being employed by the artist to occasionally smudge and blend colours. Over time it became more and more proficient in its duties until one day, discovered lying on the studio floor next to a piece of hardboard and scrap paper, it compelled the resulting composition.


127cms x 102cms / 50″ x 40″
acrylics on canvas

The title of this work is the rumoured alias the artist L.S.Lowry would adopt when approached by autograph seekers or asked to sign some casual sketch he may have dashed off. One source claims Lowry went as far as having calling cards printed in this name.


46cms x 63.5cms / 18″ x 25″.
acrylics on canvas

Alec Leamas, the main protagonist of the novel,The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, by John Le Carre, recalls observing two juggernaut trucks pull out and converge on a station wagon driving down the middle of a road. As Leamas passed beyond the event his last sight of the station wagon was that of children laughing and waving from the rear window before the moment of impact. For Leamas the juggernauts represented communism and capitalism, the children the innocents caught in between. Yates has sought to capture this moment of innocence before the fatal impact with simple shapes and tones frozen behind a misted rear windscreen.


35.5cms x 45.5cms / 14″ x 18″
painted assemblage

A superbly compact recollection of the artist playing billiards at my London club, Boodles in St. James, the oldest club in London. Paul Yates introduced members to the wonders of full and half-ball reverse banana screw and other trick shots. The subtle abstractions of this assemblage perfectly capture the spirit of that wonderful evening.


52cms x 52cms / 20″ X 20″
acrylics on canvas

Observed by the artist in a church in Donegal many years ago, an imprint in dust of a dove that had collided with a window pane then fallen to its death outside. The curious aspect was that when viewed from the church interior during strong sunlight the image of the dove could not be discerned, it was only when a cloud passed over or the day grew darker that the ‘dust dove’ could be discerned.


63.5cms x 46cms / 24′ X 18″
acrylics on canvas

An image from ROAD MARKINGS, a new series in development by Yates exploring faded highway and car park iconography.


46cms x 63cms / 24″ x 18″
acrylics on canvas

An image from ROAD MARKINGS, a new series in development by Yates exploring faded highway and car park iconography. Night time rain and neon flare illuminated these two walking men figures, their crumbling paint imbuing them with a sense of drama, as if they were strolling out onto a stage.


63.5cmz x 46cms / 25″ x 18″
acrylics on canvas

Pierre Brassau was a chimpanzee and the subject of a 1964 hoax when paintings made by him were exhibited as the work of an unknown French artist named, Pierre Brassau. Many critics praised the delicacy of Pierre’s strokes and colour orchestrations until his true identity was revealed, despite this some still found his work of merit. In 1969 Pierre retired to Chester Zoo in England.


46.5cms x 63.5 / 18″ x 24″
acrylics on canvas

It is interesting to speculate who these poets may be. Several faces can be discerned intertwined with each other and study yields visualisations which offer us insights into how the artist developed this painting.


46cms x 63.5cms / 18′ x 25″

acrylics on canvas, mixed media assemblage

Employing an almost architectural drawing style and placing the words MUTT WAS HERE on plain utilitarian bathroom tiles Yates has echoed Canova’s classical rendering of the Three Graces with a chorus line of urinals after the artist Marcel Duchamp’s infamous MUTT exhibit. Yates is never afraid to allow his viewer to join up the dots on his thinking, this work is daringly understated.

The Spring Exhibition 2021 is open from 3 April until May 31 2021 at

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