This week’s look at exhibitions happening across the UK includes the infinitely important book art works by Henri Matisse showing at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the noir themed A Darkness More Than Night at Derby’s QUAD Gallery, and finally, FCB Cadell’s incredible paintings at the Scottish National Gallery’s Scottish Colourist Series. Good week for the UK!
The Art Books of Henri Matisse Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
As Matisse’s life progressed, he moved away from painting but not away from art. Testament to this are some of the first illustrations of the numerous artist books he made, now being exhibited in an extraordinary collection on loan to Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Featuring paper cuts and pochoirs (stencilling), collaged into expressive and vivid storytelling forms, there’s also his line-work and the negatively coloured linocut counterparts. They are beautiful – truly some of the most remarkable and important icons in modern art. Showing until April 15.
A Darkness More Than Light QUAD Gallery, Derby
The idea of noir is an enduring aesthetic that draws on many universally familiar themes for artists, “a troubled mind, a fruitless or baffling pursuit of an impossible goal, vice, deceit and the isolating effect of the city” and of course, a good old death scene. All of which are key themes cropping up in a host of artists’ work covering sculpture, installation, film and print creating an exhibition that counts itself as the first to consider the relationship between contemporary art and noir. Showing until January 29.
The Scottish Colourist Series: FCB Cadell Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Cadell was the youngest of the Scottish Colourists group in the early twentieth century and his work quickly became some of the most significant of that time. His paintings reflect the inert elegance of Edinburgh’s buildings and the mercurial weather that lit them. And it was his affinity for light which is best been exemplified by the fruits of his annual visits to the island of Iona, composed with his synonymously expressive palate – black, white and cream, “enlivened with highlights of bold colour.” He was also informed by Art Deco and cropped and composed so carefully as to bring to mind a contemporary fashion fashion shoot. Showing until March 18.