The latest online exhibition by artist Paul Yates opens today at www.paulyatesart.com.
This exhibition features exquisitely sensitive portraits of a Scottish scarecrow and French ventriloquist doll and a daring new portrayal of the classic Madonna and Child theme.
A masterly series of painted assemblages also feature in the exhibition confirming the continuing power of Yates’s unique imagination.
Yates’s patron Lord Glentoran comments, ‘In this group of new works Yates has overcome a multitude of technical and thematic challenges few other artists could contemplate. The assemblages in particular greatly impress me, this is a most demanding discipline and was a cornerstone of the early surrealist movement. The assemblages in this exhibition are outstanding and have not inherited any influences, they have evolved independently to continue that proud tradition on their own terms.’
The exhibition runs until Feb 28, 2021 at www.paulyatesart.com.
LIST OF WORKS
FALLING ANGEL THROWS A SHOE
mixed media assemblage on wood, 52,5cms x 39cms
A stunning example of successful objets trouves. Found in a disused army barracks, the studded sole of this shoe has been enhanced and set in a miniature cosmos with other ‘found’ objects orbiting about it.
One can imagine the sparks that once flew from these studs on parade ground drills but here it has been totally reinvented with a brilliant leap of imagination.
MADONNA AND CHILD
acrylics, cement and collage on canvas, 56cms x 66cms
The reworking of a car park icon from an E.Leclerc supermarket in the south of France yields a modern version of this classic subject with surprising emotional depth. Also featured is a section from an E.Leclerc freezer bag, signed and dated by a check-out operator as proof of purchase, echoing signed limited fine art editions.
acrylics on canvas, 61cms x 51cms
In dusty potato skin and sack tones this portrayal of a Scottish scarecrow, after a story by Paul Yates, deftly depicts the mystery and solitude of such figures as they stand guard over crops in all kinds of weather.
The device of a broken tractor number plate, one half upside down, distinguishes the figure and is a reference to a passage from the bible, Hebrews 132, advising that strangers should be treated with kindness as one may be entertaining angels unawares.
painted assemblage on canvas, 120cms x 180cms
Inspired by a poem written by Yates’s daughter, Kelly, when she was nine years old. This challenging portrayal of the legendary Titanic ocean liner reveals the vulnerability of any craft, however large or well- engineered, on the open sea. The positioning of a small, scaled model, inconspicuously, in the bottom right-hand corner of this large heavily painted canvas depicts the Titanic as little more than a bath time toy on the huge swell and vastness of the ocean and the night. The Titanic fired distress flares before sinking but distant ships mistook them for a firework display. Yates portrays the ephemeral nature of these flares with individually coloured dandelion aigrettes.
A DRESSING ROOM MIRROR FOR HELENE VANEL
painted collage/assemblage on canvas, 76.5 x 61.5cms
Imagined for Helene Vanel, a surrealist dancer who set up her theatre in Saint-Paul de Vence in 1928. A misty portrait of Vanel as a ghostly vision flanked by items tucked into the frame or stuck onto the mirror; Valentine postcards from the period, semaphore cards spelling VANEL and playing cards showing bullet holes and fixed with a vintage ten thousand Franc Monte Carlo casino chip. A reservation card for a romantic dinner at Le Tilleul in Saint-Paul bearing a lipstick kiss, the iconic emblem of Maison Godet revealed by pencil cross-hatching.
A FOOL PROOF SYSTEM FOR WINNING AT ROULETTE
painted collage/assemblage, 76.5cms x 62cms
Rings from the bases of champagne, spirit, wine and cocktail glasses in various colours of acrylic paint are juxtaposed with a wide variety of objects some of which may be lucky charms, vintage Monte Carlo casino chips, crude measuring and counting devices forlornly fielded to impose pattern on blind chance.
An over a century old, book cover, ruled and dressed for solo player board games with tin, bone, ivory counters and ancient Roman coins as play pieces. An enigmatic moment from a game we can never know the rules for or whose turn it is to play.
I. 25.5cms x 30.5
II. 30.5cms x 40.5cms
III 30.5 x 40.5cms
A MAGIC SEXTANT
painted assemblage, 58.5cms x 39cms
Looking like they were made for each other; A coat hanger, tin opener, horse chestnut, random wood and clock hand, combine to create a navigational instrument for charting journeys of the imagination. Written on a fragment of a wooden cable drum are the latitude and longitude coordinates for Saint-Paul de Vence.
diptych, acrylics on canvas, each portrait 61 cms x 51cms
Based on photo-booth photo-strip portraits of a ventriloquist doll belonging to a busker in Cannes. One portrait showing Pal Joey calm and collected, one showing him startled by the photo- booth flash.
TOY ROBOT CASTS A YO-YO INTO INFINITY
Painted assemblage, 30.5cms x 70cms
The words KLAATU, BARADA, NIKTO echo Yates’s triptych, THE CHILDREN OF GORT. Constructed from just an arm and head this toy robot is depicted with a real sense of individual character.
The string on the yo-yo beginning to tie itself into a knot seems a fitting comment on abstract mathematics.