This autumn, to coincide with the Sainsbury Wing exhibition Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals, the National Galley is inviting two contemporary artists to display work looking at the urban landscape. The first of these artists, Clive Head, will display three works exploring new ways to represent London.
About Clive Head
In Canaletto, Clive Head finds an artist who, like himself, reinvents the urban landscape, creating paintings which resemble the real world without simply repeating it.
Head gathers visual information from site drawings, photography and studio studies. He combines these images to create artwork with surprising results. Head does not repeat a single viewpoint like a camera. Instead he shows multiple views in a single painting. The resulting works capture the experience of looking and moving around a scene.
A full version of the Clive Head exhibition film is available as part of the Canaletto DVD
Works on display
The Room 1 show features three major works. 'Haymarket' presents a view of the street near Piccadilly Circus. It not only takes in a near 300 degrees of the surrounding view, but also looks up at the covered roof, down at the litter strewn pavement, and allows us to peer around corners.
'Coffee at the Cottage Delight' takes the viewer on a walk into an ordinary cafe in South Kensington, then on to the street outside, each time looking in many different directions.
'Leaving the Underground', is the most complex of the three. On first impressions it just shows an ordinary view of a staircase at Victoria Underground Station. But on closer inspection, it shows things you would only see if you walked up the staircase, looking around you all the time.
Clive Head’s paintings open new possibilities for the way the urban landscape is represented. Familiar yet unique, these paintings invite us to enter them and return time and again.