Lot 208 - Winston Branch - Mint in Sweet July
Acrylic on card
Signed on Verso
This auction is raising proceeds for St Wilfrid's Hospice Eastbourne
Born in St Lucia in 1947, Winston Branch emigrated to England as a young man, even then a young artist, in 1958. He arrived into the throes of the capital's art scene: The London School of David Hockney, Lucian Freud, and Francis Bacon was in full swing, and Winston’s first experiments leant themselves to comparative forms of figuration. Following a degree at the Slade School of Fine Art, he was awarded the prestigious British Prix de Rome in 1971 which led to a residency at the British School at Rome, in a light-filled studio right by the Galleria Nazionale d'Art Moderna e Contemporanea, and an Artists-in-Berlin fellowship. By the time he had graduated from The Slade, he was the subject of celebrated exhibitions in Algeria, in the United States, and in France. Sometime later, and following in the footsteps of his friend David Hockney, Winston moved to California, and took up a professorship in fine art at UC Berkeley.
This Spring, Winston’s artwork was shown in an exhibition at Tate Britain, entitled 'Sixty Years: The Unfinished Conversation’ as a companion to Sir John Akomfrah's The Unfinished Conversation (2012) on the great cultural theorist Stuart Hall,
Perhaps the safest and most exhilarating place in the world, for a devotee of British abstraction, is within arm's length of any first-rate painting by Winston Branch. Taking light as his theme for these works of the past two decades, which include five acrylics on paper and two monoprints, Winston Branch takes abstraction into new territory by returning to the capacity of pigment to construct the effect of light and space.
Winston’s composition oscillates between a period vogue of postwar painterly abstraction - comparative, you might say, to Frank Bowling and Auerbach - as well as the searing arcadian dreams of Claude Monet's late style, his grande decorations. But Winston’s mode of painterly abstraction is inspired by his own relationship to nature, borne from but extending beyond his relationship to space -- not only to 'nature', which has its own abstractions in definition, but also to the spit and sawdust of the cities where he lives and has lived, in London, Berlin, Oakland, and Rome.
SELECTED SOLO SHOWS
Winston Branch: A Gift of Life, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley, CA
Robert Mondavi Winery Exhibition, Napa, California
Alliance Française de San Francisco, California
Alliance Française, Los Angeles, California
Willard Hall, Kansas State University, Kansas
Alliance Française, San Francisco, California
Tate Britain (London, UK)
The Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, California)
The Legion of Honor, DeYoung Museum (San Francisco, California)
The University of California Berkeley Art Museum (CA)
St. Louis Art Museum (MO)
Mott-Warsh Collection (Flint, MI)
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (New York, NY)
Sprint Headquarters (Overland, KS)
National Trust of St. Lucia
The Arts Council of Great Britain (London, UK)
The British Museum (London, UK)
The Contemporary Arts Society (London, UK)
Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK)
Hamburg Kunst-halle (Hamburg, DE)
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