Hales Gallery now represents British artist Mary Webb
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Hales Gallery now represents British artist Mary Webb
Mary Webb, Winter Series II, 1996.



LONDON.- Hales announced representation of British artist Mary Webb, along with Webb's first solo exhibition with the gallery, Reverie, opening at Hales London on 13th September 2018.

Webb has dedicated her art practice, spanning almost six decades to date, to the exploration of the abstract form through painting, printmaking and collage. At the core of it lies the considered relationship between colour and form, through which the artist renders the world around her as a timeless abstraction.

Mary Webb (b. London, 1939), studied Fine Art at Newcastle University (1958-63), under the supervision of Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore, before completing her postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art in 1964. Webb lives and works in Suffolk, UK.

Whilst studying at Newcastle University, Webb and her fellow students visited London to see the New American Painting show at the Tate Gallery in 1959. The monumental scale and colour of the works included in this now infamous exhibition had a profound effect on Webb, who cites this as a pivotal moment in her career. This influence can still be seen throughout her practice.

Webb’s work is part of a tradition of modernist painters employing geometry to create a new vision of the world. She has the sensibility of a landscapist, often drawing inspiration from the places she travels to - registering the shapes, colours, and light, grounding the work in a specific place. Webb is so attuned to her surroundings at her studio in Suffolk that when she visits somewhere new she finds the experience “a visual shock”, with changes in light, landscape and architecture - down to the most subtle differences - being enough to inspire a whole body of work.

The relationship between colour and place is an ongoing interest for this confident and experienced colourist, ignited at an early age by flicking through copies of National Geographic as well as American comic books – with their distinctly bright, yet slightly bleached-out, blocks of colour. Now, she sees her artworks as landscapes filtered by her memories and distilled to blocks of flat pigment: for example, in the Utah Series the vast, arid American landscape stretches across the painting, whilst a grid references the Grand Staircase-Escalante, depicting seismic shifts that shaped the landscape millions of years ago.

Mary Webb’s artworks are laboriously considered and are a result of a multi-stage process. Not relying on colour theory texts, Webb has an innate sense for the subtle interaction between colours, striving to avoid drawing the viewer’s eye to one particular area by making the colours work together and exploring diagonal compositions, aiming for there to be an all over quality to the work. As an initial stage, the artist will use her memory and photographs to make water colour paintings and collages using shaped pieces of paper which she pre-paints to achieve a particular colour and consistency. Often working in series to explore an idea thoroughly, Webb scales up the studies to create her monumental square oil paintings. The artist selects specific paintings to develop into screen prints when the colours and shapes lend themselves to the precision and process of printmaking. As a result, each work exists in different incarnations, offering a chance to explore colour not only through the mode of application, but also through a variety of media.

Webb’s first solo exhibition with Hales, Reverie, will feature a series of paintings, prints and collages spanning two decades (1980 – 1999). The show will bring together works from several series, which, while united by Webb’s ongoing formal explorations of painting, collage and printmaking, exemplify a myriad of influences and emotions that seep into her meticulously considered compositions and colour selections.










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