TREVOR BELL 'HASTE SLOWLY' - 4/4 TO 4/5/09


It is a great privilege to be showcasing Trevor Bell’s latest works. HASTE SLOWLY is a striking and unusual exhibition for Bell, indicating a new level of freedom in his paintings.

Although a spontaneous dialogue between works has been created, each work stands alone. Communication between works becomes challenging, sometimes a whisper, sometimes a scream, like a group of people brought together, tentatively forming common ground. Ultimately, however, there is a sense of isolation. Each work is its own individual experience.

Bell is a romantic. An unusual admission when people so often talk of the formality of abstract painting, but I am struck by the emotive element so strong in his work; it is nature, both raw and in its spirit; it is the duality of life, in its calm and in its conflict. It is exciting. It reminds us we are alive and is suggestive of that which is out of reach and as such is humbling. The works suggest a journey that we all face and through experiencing these paintings we celebrate that journey. Each creates its own sublime vista.

2009 has been a busy year so far for Bell, having just seen the launch of a major retrospective book written by Chris Stevens of Tate Britain and Elizabeth Knowles esteemed former Director of Newlyn Art Gallery. A major public solo exhibition at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Art Gallery, Leeds, and inclusion in the ‘Gregory Fellows’ Exhibition taking place at Leeds City Art Gallery (his home town), as well as an retrospective exhibition in London. All culminating recognition of Bell’s status as a truly major figure in British Art. What is so striking in this exhibition is the sense of a lifetimes work come together. Of all strands joining and becoming truly greater than the sum of their parts.

Compiled with the energetic ‘haste’ of a man in defiance of his years to create something monumental in its permanence. As Bell once said; ‘I make works which do not always give themselves immediately. Something for the spirit, not of words, and an antidote to the vigourous complexities that surround us. It has required a gradual ungaining of learning to achieve a full emptiness’.


Joseph Clarke. 2009



ARTIST STATEMENT

The ‘AS WHITES ‘group shown in my last exhibition at the Millennium, and recently exhibited at the Leeds University Gallery as ‘NOTHING EXTRA‘ proved to be a very difficult act to follow. Because the works are so closely related they inevitably make a very unified space and statement when seen together even though each canvas was made as a solo work, and of course I would have liked to come up with an equivalent to that position if at all possible.

Great ideas are one thing, and what happens is another, and although I gave myself a totally new proposition i.e. to fully use the edges as a way of projecting the picture surface and to carry edge colour as a truly operative factor, the newness of that carrying form has demanded an open ended curiosity and excitement as to what was appropriate within my own terms.

This then is a group of works each of which is its own exploration, linked by differing uses of the edge, and having different degrees of input from the inescapable fact of living in such a powerful area together with the influence of my own working history.

I hope they are all responsible to painting as painting above all.


Trevor Bell. 2009



"Your paintings are unique as the canvas is shaped, even the edge; as you say the “deep edge” has color. Moreover, I am sure you realize and have been told that the work is heraldic.

To me, the paintings are much more: heroic with color, shape, gesture and form; an art without epoch, timeless.

I can not believe that after the Leeds and London exhibitions and major publication that you have a major exhibition at the Millennium St Ives. We wish you well and admire your tenacity and endless energy."


Excerpt from a letter to Trevor Bell from Roy Slade, former President of Cranbrook Academy and Director of The Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C in response to seeing the work in this exhibition. Roy Slade is an Artist, Curator and Writer.
 



Sharp
acrylic on canvas . 45 x 45 cm





Windover
acrylic on board . 45 x 45 cm





Stormover
acrylic on board . 45 x 45 cm





Square Waver
acrylic on board . 45 x 45 cm





Mask
acrylic on board . 45 x 45 cm





Black Carver
acrylic on board . 45 x 45 cm





A Simple Dance
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





The White One
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Quiet Cut Black
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Pinker
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Closer
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Blue Lemoner
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Breaker Round
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Zawn Round
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Red Angle Round
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Madance
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Stormover
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Night Rock
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





More Orange
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Blue Fuse
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





So
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Dangerous
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Thrust Round
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Ushant
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





A Black Hole
acrylic on board . 118 x 118 cm





Hot Noon
acrylic on canvas . 158 x 153 cm






Bender
acrylic on board . 158 x 153 cm





Noreaster
acrylic on canvas . 133 x 139 cm





Hardalee
acrylic on canvas . 196 x 207 cm





Nona
acrylic on canvas . 195 x 213 cm





Westerly
acrylic on canvas . 196 x 212 cm