March 2019 : New website
Welcome to my new website. The intention of this new design is to give a more comprehensive and intuitive appraisal of the last 70+ years of my paintings and works on paper, many of which have not been seen before.
That said, the works displayed on the site still only represent a selection of my work.
This website will be evolving over time, so please check back to it periodically for more insights, news and enhanced functionality.
October 2018 : The Crucifixion (1956) and Last Supper (1959) : rehung at Christ Church, Kensington
Two landmark works from the 1950s, The Last Supper (1959) and The Crucifixion (1956), have been rehung in the recently refurbished Christ Church, Kensington. They complement a large contemporary painting currently on display at Tate Britain entitled Corrida (1955-6). Whishaw has lived and worked in his Kensington studio since the 1950s, a few moments away from Christ Church.
The Last Supper is one of Whishaw’s most significant early works in which he brings a seriousness and emotional weight to ordinary people and everyday situations.
The Crucifixion focuses on the intense personal suffering and loneliness without showing Christ’s entire body, the Cross or surrounding people.
July 2018 : Canwood Gallery : Experiences of Nature
This exhibition, selected from the artist’s studio, examines Whishaw’s fascination with the natural environment and draws from a body of work painted over the last 40 years.
Whishaw’s work is challenging – he makes the viewer work hard to interpret his warping and skewing of space and form and he acknowledges that he explores unusual visual languages, employing illusion and allusion. He often works on his paintings over a period of many years, making alterations and additions as he lives with the canvases.
Whishaw’s paintings vary dramatically in size, the smallest work in this exhibition, his playful ‘Spider’s Website’ measures 15 x 10 cm whilst his ‘Forest Interior Triptych’, hanging in the next door barn is 168 x 685 cm. To allow him to work on these very different scales Whishaw divides his time between two studios in Bethnal Green and Kensington.
The exhibition continues upstairs with a group of works by Whishaw’s late wife, sculptor Jean Gibson (1927-1991) and sculptor Nicole Farhi, who was taught by Jean Gibson in the Kensington studio where Whishaw still works today.
Curated by Selina Skipworth
July 2017 : Corrida (1955-56) at Tate Britian
“Corrida’s setting is suggestive of the bullring, where bulls are confronted by men on horses as well as on foot. The painting not only relates to my experience of the bullfight, but is also about degrees of fear expressed by both humans and animals. It reconciles the influence of Francis Bacon’s distorted and grimacing figures with my reaction to the haunting imagery of Goya’s Black Paintings after I saw them in the Prado in Madrid.”
This large painting dating from 1955–6 depicts a crowd at a Spanish bullfight. Realised in muted tones of brown and ochre oil paint on canvas, the long, landscape-format composition is divided horizontally along the centre by a rail that separates the dense crowd of spectators from the startled white horse running from right to left across the foreground. The horse is cropped so that only the upper part of its body and outstretched head and neck are shown. The title, Corrida, is the Spanish term for bullfight, a shortened form of corrida de toros, literally ‘running of the bulls’. During the first stage of a bullfight, ‘picadors’ – horsemen with lances – jab at the bull. The loose, fleeing horse here may suggest that the picador has been unseated during this part of the event.
Anthony Whishaw : A Monograph by Richard Davey
The long-awaited first comprehensive monograph on the artist, featuring over 160 of Whishaw’s most compelling works.
In this handsome book the art historian Richard Davey explores the seven decades of Anthony Whishaw RA’s career, from his early cubist-inspired landscapes, suffused with the dust and heat of Spain, to his later, monumental visions of the rivers and forests of southern England. In his insightful text, Davey uncovers the influences behind Whishaw’s many different themes and charts the unchanging passions that form a constant thread through his imagery, opening a window onto the artist’s endlessly inventive, playful and reflective mind.