Exhibitions & Events

Events & Exhibitions into the new year including 'Matisse: Drawing with Scissors' currently on show at The Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead if you missed it in 2011 at the Hat Factory.



The French painter, sculptor and designer, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists.

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, features 35 lithographic prints of the famous cut-outs produced in the last four years of his life, when the artist was confined to his bed. The exhibition includes many of his iconic images, such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes. Matisse continued creating highly original works well into his eighties. For his cut-outs he used paper that had been hand-painted with gouache, laid down in abstract or figurative patterns. The colours he used were so strong that he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses.
Free exhibition.

The Old Town Hall, High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE Hertfordshire HP1 3AE
Saturday 24 Nov 2012 to Monday 31 Dec 2012



Many of the visual art works made during the 1970s found themselves neglected as attention focused on the rise of conceptual and performance art. In this exhibition, The Piper Gallery demonstrates that, even as modernist certainties were challenged, new possibilities in abstract art continued to emerge, with a vitality that may even have sprung from the precarious position in which seventies’ abstraction found itself.  HVA Member Graham Boyd is participating in this exhibition.

New Possibilities, curated by Megan Piper and Sandra Higgins, presents works by 14 artists from the 1970s: Frank Bowling RA, Graham Boyd, Barrie Cook, William Henderson, Albert Irvin RA, Tess Jaray RA, Jeanne Masoero, C. Morey de Morand, Mali Morris RA, Patricia Poullain, Desmond Rayner, Alice Sielle, Trevor Sutton and Gary Wragg. All these artists were born between 1922 and 1950 and are still working today.

The choice of works here does not restrict itself to a particular approach, nor does it claim to be a comprehensive survey. What results demonstrates some of the eclecticism which emerges as a central feature of seventies’ abstraction. The pieces shown were made by artists at different stages of their careers, working with a wide range of techniques. Through the general diversity run various different strands: there are ‘painterly’ painters; Op artists, and some whose work relates to Op art; some whose work is ostensibly reductive and others who aim at a type of maximalism; quite a number also work with geometry. But, what is most exciting is seeing the combined work of these different artists that is rarely, if ever, shown together. Consequently, the exhibition offers unexpected, new connections that bring forth new questions about this period.

For example, Frank Bowling is well-known for concerning himself with the material structure of paint and, in the 1970s, he began to pour paint directly onto the canvas, observing the way the wet acrylic slowly flowed from top to bottom. This style of action- painting creates energetic and innovative works with colours that meet and mesh forming a dense textural build-up at the bottom edge. Although very different in style, Albert Irvin is also fascinated with colour and uses dynamic ranges to achieve his expressive and communicative force, full of vitality and ambition.

Desmond Rayner once said ‘There are far too many shades of grey all around us. I like colour for its own sake. I enjoy juggling with space. Relax and enjoy the works at surface level, that’s all I ask...’. For Rayner, visual art is a form of pleasure and a source of entertainment and this statement of intent concisely sums up his straightforward philosophy regarding his own artistic practice.

'Descender' by Graham Boyd

Throughout Graham Boyd’s work, there is a desire to capture and draw our attention to light and colour, particularly to the fugitive or transient qualities of the works and the way these can alter our perception of space.

Each of Alice Sielle’s paintings are formed through a series of overlapping sequences, at times suggesting futuristic architecture or theatre sets that become increasingly figurative.
William Henderson is one of the three so-called Artscribe artists in the exhibition, whose work was promoted and written about in the magazine Artscribe during the 1970s (the others are Gary Wragg and Trevor Sutton). Where many painters in the exhibition looked to America for inspiration, Henderson saw himself as a European painter, one excited by the work of classic modernists such as Dubuffet, Braque, Picasso and Kandinsky. Trevor Sutton sees his art as making simple statements about colour; he looked to America, particularly the minimal painting of Ellsworth Kelly, through Abstract Expressionists, such as Rothko and Newman.

The Piper Gallery, 18 Newman Street, London W1T 1PE
Opening hours:
Tues-Saturday 10:00 - 18:00 (or by appointment)
T: 020 7148 0350 www.thepipergallery.com


'TREES IN THE LANDSCAPE' paintings by Alan Burgess

'Veteran Oak, Hatfield House Park'

Including a multiple of the Fifty Great British Trees chosen by the Tree Council and the Hatfield House Park veteran oaks.
Boxfield Gallery, Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, Lytton Road, Stevenage SG1 1LZ
Open daily 9 am - 10 pm until 6th January 2013.





'MOMENTUM' 16  Nov 2012 - 26 Jan 2013

A touring exhibition of contemporary craft and applied art by eight groundbreaking UK artists.  Selected through their shared passion for new technologies.  Momentum explores how these technologies can help the artists to express their thoughts and feelings.

The exhibition acknowledges the ways in which artists today are choosing to work, embracing the 'Information Age' which has opened up new opportunities for making and communicating.

Featured artists:

Vanessa Cutler, Beate Gegenwart, Antje Illner, Geoffrey Mann, Justin Marshall, Jenny Smith, Cathy Treadaway and Jayne Wallace.

Visitors to Momentum will be intrigued by the complex designs and craftsmanship in the exhibits, many of which are interactive with their audience.  Jayne Wallace has created digital silver lockets inspired by memories.  The onlooker can take a photograph with the attached digital cameras and the image will then pass to the locket, appearing for pre-programmed lengths of time before disappearing.

Exhibitor and curator of the Momentum exhibition, Beate Gegenwart, applies laser cutting technology to her work.  Influenced by the visual patterns and compositions of the Parisian arcades and the writings of Walter Benjamin, Gegenwart has explored intricate mark-making to design her striking stainless steel and enamel wall panels.

Cathy Treadaway presents us with intriguing wall pieces that on first glance appear to be ceramic but are in fact built up from layer upon layer of starch.  Using Freeform (r) software, scanning and 3D digital printing, these works represent a personal expression and poetic translation of sound into surface texture.  The exhibition highlights what an exciting time it is to be an artist - to engage with digital technologies.  As Wallace states 'there is not rule book and we are pioneering new ground'.

University of Hertfordshire, Art and Design Gallery, College Lane Campus, Hatfield AL10 9AB 

Open Mon-Sat 10.00am - 5.00pm, Sun 2.00pm - 5.00pm


A solo exhibition of the work of Simon Brewster, 11th January - 2nd February 2013  (Private View 10th January 6-9pm)

...a grimy scuff-mark becomes a bank of twilight clouds – and back again

Simon Brewster’s recent art practice has sought to explore the boundaries and crossovers between contrasting states such as: urban squalor and poetic dilapidation, beauty and ugliness, accident and contrivance.  He is interested in the perceived value of objects presented as art works, and how the context of such presentation affects that perception.  This investigation is infused with a romanticism regarding landscape.

Exhibition curated by Joanna Bryant

Upstairs Gallery, 268 High Street, Berkhamsted, HP4 1AQ


'EASTERN APPROACHES', 2 Dec 2012-2 Jan 2013

The UH annual open submission exhibition has marked itself out over its eleven years as an annual showcase for local artistic talent. The works in Eastern Approaches 2012 have been selected by Harriet Loffler,Jordan Kaplan and Antje Illner, with prizes awarded in the following categories :

* Under 30 Prize
* Best Applied Art
* St. Albans Museums & Galleries Trust Prize
* St. Albans Prize
* WMT Prize
* Loop Developments Prize
* Townstone Prize
* Christopher Place Prize
* UH Alumni Association Prize
* UH School of Creative Arts Prize
* UH Recordings Prize
* Best Video Prize
* UH Arts Prize
* Overall Winner

University of Hertfordshire Galleries at the Museum of St. Albans, Hatfield Road, St. Albans, AL1 3RR
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm / Sun 2pm-5pm