Out to dazzle at Bath’s Victoria Gallery

John Eaves, Split Decision, oil on canvas, 2011

Bath based artist John Eaves has a new exhibition at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery from Saturday, September 6th. John Eaves: Small Beginnings will run until until 23 November 2014.
Jon Benington, Manager at the Council-run gallery commented: “These vibrant compositions in paint, crayon and collage will dazzle the viewer in this show by one of our most distinguished local artists.” This exhibition mounted by Bath & North East Somerset Council demonstrates Eaves’ continuing concerns with landscape sources, from geological strata and trees to glowing sunsets. These ‘beginnings’ formed the basis for larger studio improvisations.

John Eaves, Split Decision, oil on canvas, 2011
John Eaves, Split Decision, oil on canvas, 2011

Eaves is well known locally as an artist and musician and the rhythms and colours of his paintings reflect his love of jazz, which is always playing in his studio.
 
He was born in 1929 and trained at the Bath Academy of Art between 1949 and 1952 and went on to work as Course Director for part-time courses in the visual arts at Bath College of Higher Education between 1958 and 1985.

He is a member of the Royal West of England Academy.
 
The theme linking all works in the show is that of vivid, boldly applied colour. As the artist has commented: “The images I make now run parallel to nature rather than rely on direct observations or reminiscences. Echoes and sonorities of landscape will inevitably persist, but above all, if the paintings succeed, I hope they breathe optimism.”
John Eaves’ work reminds us that our relationship to colour is primal: an original and constant sympathy. There is no concerted effort to represent; but the desire to express formal arrangements is striking. He takes inspiration from Emil Nolde’s mythically-inflected North German landscapes with their elemental paradoxes of colour, and Paul Cezanne for the relationship between forms.
John Eaves has exhibited throughout Great Britain and Germany. His paintings are in both national and private collections, notably the Arts Council, Bristol City Art Gallery and the city of Braunschweig, Germany. In 1966 he was awarded the first Churchill Fellowship as a painter and received a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship in 1986.
In 1985 Eaves produced a painting called ‘Blue Spreading’ which Ikea turned into a best-selling poster in 1991 and more than 45,000 copies were sold. In this new exhibition, all exhibits are for sale.