Sandra Higgins is delighted to present an exhibition of landscape paintings by Welsh artist, Dan Llywelyn Hall.
Llywelyn Hall graduated from the University of Westminster in 2003 and in the same year was awarded The Sunday Times Young Artist of the Year prize. Subsequently, he was shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award in 2009 and since then has continued to attract collectors from a variety of museums, public institutions, corporations as well as private individuals. Llywelyn Hall’s portraits of First World War veterans Henry Allingham and Harry Patch were recently displayed at Windsor Castle and are now a permanent feature in the Royal Collection. The Cardiff born artist also currently has work on display at the National Gallery of Wales, the Imperial War Museum (London), the House of Lords, BT’s corporate collection, Barclays’ corporate collection, the Museum of Modern Art Wales and the Contemporary Art Society of Wales.
Despite exploring a variety of genres, Dan Llywelyn Hall’s work displays a keen interest in landscape painting.
His approach towards landscape painting is a crossover between two great traditions: boldly painted surfaces combine the Romantics’ attempt to embody human feeling and thought with the Expressionists’ raw quality of a form, and sense of immediacy. Llywelyn Hall takes the nostalgic vision of landscape painting and rejuvenates it with a free use of colour. In this way, he creates a new and authentic genre, making a significant contribution to the recent revival of landscape painting in Britain. His work owes much to the legacies of William Blake and Samuel Palmer, along with the Neo- Romantics of the 1940s such as John Piper, Michael Ayrton and Llywelyn Hall’s compatriot, David Jones. Agitated brushwork and simplified ornaments also expose the formative influences of Chaim Soutine and Henri Matisse.
Landscape creates the theatre, the set, for much more crucial things. But these days it has had such bad press – as a genre it’s mistreated by contemporary art. You can’t really make it ironic, and that’s its drawback for contemporary art galleries… [to me] irony is for people who haven’t got any backbone, who are afraid of putting their emotions into the work. I think you’ve got to be very brave if you’re going to make something that is heartfelt and meaningful, you’ve got to be prepared to put yourself on the line. That’s absolutely essential.
Dan Llywelyn Hall in conversation with Andrew Lambirth, THE SPECTATOR
Mystical, spiritual and sublime in character, the beauty of Llywelyn Hall’s landscapes evokes in us a sense of passing time and our own mortality. While the starting point for his images are concrete locations, Llywelyn Hall confronts the viewer with worlds infused with his own personal response, shaped by his feelings and moods. As the personal aspect is given a priority over an objective depiction, the resulting imaginative scenes invite an inward contemplation on the viewer’s part. Lost in the winding paths leading towards the furthermost horizons, a recurring motif in Llywelyn Hall’s work, the spectator is captivated within the haunting landscapes.
Dan Llywelyn Hall follows a tradition which first flourished amid the dreams of the Romantics. He is part of that visionary lineage of painters for whom landscape became an embodiment of human feeling [… yet] his paintings work to conjure a fresh, idiosyncratic and fundamentally modern mood.
Rachel Campbell-Johnston, THE TIMES
A collection of Llywelyn Hall’s landscape works will be on show at my Gallery Petit in Chelsea.
The exhibition will run from Thursday 21st March to Friday 12th April. The artist will also be giving a talk with his personal reflections on painting the Queen.