The latest in a series of Arts Council England sponsored contemporary installations opened at Bath’s Holburne Museum today (Saturday, March 21st.)
It’s called Nicholas Rena: After Matisse and features the work of an artist famous for producing compelling ceramic sculpture forms – imbued with a sense of significance – which are moulded, polished and highly coloured.
Rena holds Master of Arts degrees in both Architecture and Ceramics and one interest certainly appears to influence the other in terms of his work.
His vividly hued vessels evoke the palette and tone of French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) who – says Rena – utilised colour to represent ‘continuity with the past but using a new language.’
The Holburne display – set out on the Ballroom table – comprises a series of monumental bowls. The display has been curated by Decorative Arts Curator, Catrin Jones.
At a private showing to launch the commission Rena described the work as bringing ‘ an adrenalin shot of colour into the West Country.’
Talking to the artist l asked what the title ‘After Matisse’ meant to him.
(NB. Two of the images – used in that interview – showed the works in the artist’s studio and are courtesy of the Holburne Museum and Philip Sayer.)
Nicholas Rena was welcomed to Bath by the Holburne’s Director Jennifer Scott who spoke about the Museum’s debt to Arts Council England for allowing contemporary works of such a standard to be seen in the city.
Nicholas Rena: After Matisse runs at the Holburne until May 17th, 2015. Entry to the installation is free.
Check out www.holburne.org