Art Fairs & Exhibitions

Bridget Macdonald

A Deeper Landscape: paintings and drawings around the theme of landscape and memory

Art First London
10 April - 17 May 2024

View Exhibition Notice

View E-Catalogue

Many of the works in this exhibition depict the landscape of the Malvern Hills where I live. Perry Pear at Storridge for example is a reminder of the old orchards of Herefordshire, many of which have been grubbed up over the last decades. We have a young orchard a few miles away planted with old local varieties of apples and pears – a scheme devised by Herefordshire County Council to conserve the heritage of this landscape. This orchard appears in Crows in the September Orchard and March Pruning with the Japanese Ladder.

Bridget Macdonald, Perry Pear at Storridge, oil on linen, 102 x 102 cm Bridget Macdonald, Crows in the September Orchard, 2019, oil on linen, 76 x 102 cm Bridget Macdonald, Gascony Pastoral, 2023, oil on linen, 101 x 127 cm Bridget Macdonald, March Pruning with the Japanese Ladder, 2023, oil on linen, 101 x 127 cm Bridget Macdonald, The Beautiful View, 2022, charcoal on paper, 81 x 122 cm Bridget Macdonald, The Midsummer Mare II, 2019, charcoal on paper, 81 x 122 cmBridget Macdonald installation image 1 (courtesy Justin Piperger)Bridget Macdonald installation image 2 (courtesy Justin Piperger)

Simon Morley

Modern British

Art First London
22 February - 28 March 2024

View Exhibition Notice

Art First is delighted to present a new series of paintings by British artist and writer Simon Morley which relates to the exhibition held at Art First in 2007 entitled The English Series. Since then, Morley has left the UK, and he now lives in South Korea and France. Thinking from a distance about ‘British Culture’ is one of the motivations for making the new series. His work has been exhibited internationally, most recently a solo exhibition at Song Art Gallery in Seoul. He is also the author of several books, including ‘Modern Painting. A Concise History.’ Published in 2023 by Thames & Hudson in their World of Art series.

Simon Morley, 'George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)', 2023, acrylic on canvas, 44.5 x 53 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'Penguin Modern Painters. Stanley Spencer (1947)', 2023, acrylic on canvas, 66 x 53 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927)', 2023, acrylic on canvas, 42 x 53 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'E.M. Forster. Howards End (1910)', 2023, acrylic on canvas 53 x 44.5 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'Paul Nash, Penguin Modern Painters (1944)', 2023, acrylic on canvas, 53 x 66 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'Ben Nicholson, Penguin Modern Painters (1948)’, 2023, Acrylic on canvas, 53 x 66 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'W.H. Auden, Some Poems (1940)', 2023, acrylic on canvas, 44.5 x 42 x 4 cm Simon Morley, 'The Waste Land (1922)', 2021-23, acrylic on Penguin book page, 103 x 67 cm Simon Morley installation image 1 Simon Morley installation image 2

Art First, London: Celebrating 30 Years!

Art First, London
11 January - 16 February 2024

Including work by
Güler Ates, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Luciano Bonomi, Joni Brenner, Eileen Cooper, Helena Goldwater, Jake Harvey, Margaret Hunter, Kevin Laycock, Gillian Lever, Simon Lewty, Alex Lowery, Helen MacAlister, Bridget Macdonald, Will Maclean, Louis Maqhubela, Kate McCrickard, Jack Milroy, Mimei Thompson, Simon Morley, Karel Nel, Donald Teskey, Graeme Williams, Partou Zia.

Celebrating 30 Years! installation image 1 Celebrating 30 Years! installation image 2 Celebrating 30 Years! installation image 3 Celebrating 30 Years! installation image 4 Celebrating 30 Years! installation image 5 Celebrating 30 Years! installation image 6

London Art Fair

Stand 10
Islington Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 OQH
17 - 21 January 2024

View Exhibition Notice

Kate McCrickard, Witch with Three Husbands, 2023, oil on linen, 130 x 97 cmSimon Lewty, In the Wake of the Century, 1998, pen ink and pencil crayon, 197 x 176 cmJack Milroy, Cut Comic, 2023, cut card in perspex box, 50 x 50 x 13 cmWill Maclean, Schematic Skate, 2010, found objects and mixed media, 70 x 76 x 7 cmSimon Morley, Book Painting, 2010, <em>Modern Times: From the Twenties to the Nineties</em>, Paul Johnson, acrylic on canvas, 41 x 30.5 cmMarisol Jacquemot Derode, Fantaisie, 2023, earthenward vessel with terra sigillats exterior and red glazed top, 61 x 34 cm London Art Fair installation image 1 London Art Fair installation image 2 London Art Fair installation image 3 London Art Fair installation image 4

Simon Lewty 1941–2021

Messages From the Past: Master Works From Five Decades

Art First, London
10 October - 22 December 2023

(The gallery will be closed between 22 November and 3 December)

Art First is pleased to present the first tribute exhibition to Simon Lewty since he died in 2021 and it brings to light some of his most affecting, curious and brilliant works. The dream-like imagery, with its flow of calligraphic words and the overall poetic output, is unlike any other artist’s. Following his major debut exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, in 1985, his practice evolved privately, from home studios in Leamington Spa and through regular exhibitions with Art First in London. Various Art fairs and occasional exhibitions of work abroad, acquisitions and guest appearances in museums throughout the UK, brought him to the attention of others, especially artists, but he did not travel or ‘market’ himself, making only occasional appearances at exhibitions, attending his own openings and gallery dinners, but then rapidly retreating to the calm of his studio. He leaves an extraordinary legacy.

View Exhibition Statement

Simon Lewty installation image 1Simon Lewty installation image 2Simon Lewty, Ritual of an Ancient Window, 1978, pen and ink on paper, 49.5 x 129.5 cmSimon Lewty, Dartmoor Known and Unknown, 1988, pencil and pencil crayon on paper, 46 x 224 cmSimon Lewty, Ancient Summer, 1995, pencil and pencil crayon on paper, 153 x 160 cmSimon Lewty, Eclipse, Sea, Dream, Song, 2012, ink on paper, 87.5 x 68 cmSimon Lewty, Eclipse, Sea, Dream, Song (detail)Simon Lewty, Logic, 2003, coloured ink, acrylic, pastel, 49 x 87 cm Simon Lewty, Nereid: Melite, 2018, tachygraphy text, ink on gesso on paper, 26 x 26 cm Simon Lewty, Jokes on the Porch, 1993, pencil and acrylic on paper Simon Lewty, Jokes on the Porch (detail), 1993, pencil and acrylic on paper

Margaret Hunter

States of Being

Art First, London
7-29 September 2023

Art First is delighted to present a new body of work by Margaret Hunter, fresh from her Berlin studio. This is the first solo exhibition since the previous show in 2013 in our Fitzrovia premises. Perhaps the more reflective note in the recent works originates from the Covid-19 lock down period when Hunter worked quietly on her archive, sifting through and re-visiting ideas that had evolved over decades. Then she travelled to Malaga where an encounter with Picasso’s choice works in the Picasso Museum inspired a new departure.

View Exhibition Statement

Margaret Hunter, Unity, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 70 cmMargaret Hunter, Looking Out, 2023, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cmMargaret Hunter, Options, oil on wood, 2023, 30 x 24 cmMargaret Hunter, Malaga Girls, 2023, oil on wood, 60 x 50 cmMargaret Hunter installation image 1Margaret Hunter installation image 12

Moody & Muted

Art First, London
3-25 August 2023

Including:
Teniqua Crawford, Marisol Jacquemot Derode, Jake Harvey, Gillian Lever, Simon Lewty, Helen MaCAlister, Will Maclean, Bridget Madcoald, Kate McCrickard, Simon Morley, Donald Teskey, Partou Zia

The exhibition includes fourteen artists whose work lends itself to the pensive, the poetic and at times the conceptual. Independent, challenging and fascinating, many of the participants have work held in museum and other public collections. Good publications are available, which document their careers to date.

We are delighted to introduce two guest artists; Teniqua Crawford and the ceramicist Marisol Jacquemot Derode. Also included are Simon Lewty and Partou Zia, both no longer alive, but who have exhibited with ART FIRST and alongside their fellow artists in this exhibition for a substantial period. We are working with both of their Estates.

There are paintings, drawings, assemblage work, sculpture, prints and ceramics, with prices ranging from £500—£30,000.

Come and enjoy the dialogue and the special affinities during this reflective month of late summer light, before the busy Autumn season rushes in.

View Exhibition Statement

Gillian Lever, Solitude, 2023, oil on canvas, 41 x 30 cm Donald Teskey, Drawing in charcoal from the Castlemorris Series, 2023 Teniqua Crawford, Portrait: Michael Nyman, charcoal on sheet music, 34 x 25 cm Bridget Macdonald, Emblems for a Lost Prince, 2022, charcoal on paper, 81 x 122 cm Kate McCrickard, Punks, 2023, Drypoint printed in black ink on Arches off-white, 250g, plate size 42 x 50 cm, edition of 12, published by Michael Woolworth, Paris Will Maclean, Thoughts of Time, 2013, found objects and mixed media, 53 x 53 x 5 cm Partou Zia, Seat of Energy, 2004, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm Installation image 1 Installation image 2 Installation image 3: Donald Teskey [left]; Alex Lowery [centre]; Gillian Lever [Right] Installation image 4: Simon Morley [top]; Partou Zia [lower shelf]; Will Maclean [left]; Gillian Lever [right] Installation image 5

Will Maclean

Points of Departure II

Art First, London
10 May - 22 July 2023

View Exhibition Notice

Kate McCrickard: New Romantics
Marisol Jacquemot Derode: Ceramic Counterpoints

Art First, London
8 March - 28 April 2023

Art First is delighted to present this exhibition by Kate McCrickard, with ceramicist Marisol Jacquemot-Derode. Inspired by Parisian life in a post covid world, McCrickard’s urban subjects are vibrant and beautifully observed. New Romantics explores scenes from her local cafés and bars, or on the streets, where Goths and Punks gather curiously on corners, and there are also domestic tableaux featuring family feasts, and imagined scenes based on the artist’s fugitive drawings lifted constantly from real life. In an unusual collaboration, Jacquemot-Derode’s sculptural, gorgeous vessels are made in response to McCrickard’s paintings as Ceramic Counterpoints.

View Kate McCrickard
Online Catalogue

View Exhibition Notice

Kate McCrickard, Hounds of Love, 2023, oil on linen, 120 x 90 cmKate McCrickard, Feast, 2023, oil on linen, 120 x 150 cmKate McCrickard, Prostitution With Two Cancelled White Men, 2023, oil on linen, 80 x 100 cmDragueurs, 2023, oil on linen, 50 x 65 cmInstallation image 1Installation image 2Marisol Jacquemot Derode, Toi et Moi, glazed earthenware installation work, 63 x 47 cmMarisol Jacquemot Derode, Fantaisie, earthenware vessel with terra sigillata exterior and red glazed top, 60 x 28 cm

February’s Feast

Art First, London
2 February - 3 March 2023

Kevin Laycock, Gillian Lever, Simon Lewty, Alex Lowery, Bridget Macdonald, Jack Milroy, Simon Morley, Donald Teskey, Mimei Thompson, Graeme Williams.

February’s Feast is an exhibition of engaging work by a group of gallery artists to celebrate the month with a reunion – one that’s free from the demands of a solo show, and which spans decades of exhibiting with Art First. Brought together in the new space, a dialogue unfolds.

View Exhibition Notice


February's Feast Installation image 1February's Feast Installation image 2February's Feast Installation image 3February's Feast Installation image 4February's Feast Installation image 5February's Feast Installation image 6 Mimei Thompson, Metamorphosis (Opium Poppy), 2020, oil on canvas 70 x 50 cmGillian Lever, Healing Welcome, 2022, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cmJack Milroy, Tweet Tweet, 2022, cut French book pages, 86 x 98 x 14 cmSimon Lewty, I Have Forgotten, 2005, ink and coloured crayon on paper, 56 x 62 cmAlex Lowery, Orkney 5, 2023, oil on canvas, 40 x 100 cm

London Art Fair 2023

Islington Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 0QH
17-22 January 2023
Preview: Tuesday 17 January

Stand 10

Presenting:
Simon Lewty, Will Maclean, Helen MacAlister, Kate McCrickard and Jack Milroy.

ART FIRST is delighted to present five artists whose work relates to the gallery’s exhibition programme. Kate McCrickard and Will Maclean will be having solo shows in March and May, and MacAlister’s Autumn ’22 exhibition has a fully illustrated online catalogue which you can view below on this website. A marvellous 2.3 metre tall Simon Lewty drawing, The Plucking of Mandrakes 1992, has not been exhibited before and will take you by surprise. Kate McCrickard has released a freshly painted group of canvases from her beguiling New Romantics and Belleville Café series as leads into her forthcoming exhibition. Jack Milroy’s Six Stories in Search of an Author 2022 is the latest of his virtuosic cut postcard constructions. Each artists' work is held in museum and public collections, with their exhibition and publication history available on this website in the Artists section.

We look forward to welcoming you on the stand!

View Fair Notice


Simon Lewty, The Plucking of Mandrakes, 1992, ink and pencil crayon, 224 x 150 cmJack Milroy, Six Short Stories in Search of an Author, 2022, Cut Postcard construction, 108 x 101 x 15 cmLondon Art Fair 2023 installation viewLondon Art Fair 2023 installation view

A Six-Day Christmas Show

Monday 28 November - Saturday 3 December 2022
Noon - 7.30 pm every day

Art First, London

Installation view of some small works by Luciano Bonomi, Gillian Lever, Simon Lewty, Alex Lowery, Helen MacAlister, Kate McCrickard,  Simon Morley, Bridget MacdonaldMarisol Jacquemot Derode, Twirl, earthenware vessel with deep brown interior glaze, 33 x 35 cmMolly Attrill, <em>Brexit and the Useful Covid Carpet</em>, maiolica plate, 23 cm diameter, from a series of 30 titled Shysters and Charlatans, Maiolica for our Times

Post card paintings, with sculpture, drawings, canvases, photographs and ceramics by twenty gallery artists. Prices from £200 upwards.

Pop in or call to arrange a visit - it's a great exhibition to begin or expand a collection. The artists have work held in museum collections, there are good catalogues and excellent track records, so the small treasures will be a timely cultural investment and a wonderful gift.

Jake Harvey

Tangents

27 October - 25 November 2022

Art First, London

Jake Harvey, installation view of white Carrara marble carved wall relieves, each 18 x 18 cmJake Harvey, installation view of white Carrara marble carved wall relieves, each 18 x 18 cmJake Harvey, installation view of ‘Composite Drawing’ and ‘Earth Echo’ and ‘Ware’,carved basalt and enamelJake Harvey, Two Lines III, 2022, basalt, 20 x 27 x 5 cm Jake Harvey, Narrow Gate, 2021, basalt, 18 x 24 x 5 cmJake Harvey, Land IV, 2022, basalt wall relief, 19 x 28 x 5 cm

We are very pleased to present a handsome group of Scottish sculptor, Jake Harvey’s carved stone wall reliefs in basalt and marble. The basalts were once used as setts where for hundreds of years they bore the traffic of human and animal footsteps and the weathering of time. Harvey has repurposed these functional stones, carving and honing them into beautiful, tactile abstract forms that evoke landscape and geological process. The white marble pieces are slightly smaller, measuring 18 x 18 cm and they reference archeological artefacts as well as land forms.

In these as well as the free-standing pieces, there is an elemental stillness and a sense of deep time, leaving us to contemplate the essence of stone itself. Harvey’s interventions are subtle and informing, inviting us to touch the works and to feel for just a moment, the wonderful qualities of stone and how it reflects our planet.

View Exhibition Notice

British Art Fair logo

British Art Fair

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York Square, King’s Rd, SW3 4RY

29 September – 2 October 2022, Stand 54

The BAF is back, and we are delighted to be participating in this refreshed edition, presenting work by Simon Lewty, Bridget Macdonald, Kate McCrickard, Jack Milroy and Donald Teskey

View Fair Notice


Bridget Macdonald, Bull in Flowering Meadow, 2015, charcoal on paper, 127 x 153 cmSimon Lewty, Leaving the Laurel Grove, 1991, ink, crayon, acrylic on paper, 54 x 53 cmDonald Teskey, Achill, 2022, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cmKate McCrickard, Bar aux Folies, 2020, oil on linen, 72 x 96 cmJack Milroy, Clouds Nest Water, 2014, cut book pages, in Perspex boxes, 84 x 61 cmBridget Macdonald,  Crows in the September Orchard, 2019, oil on linen, 76.2 x 101.6 cm

Helen MacAlister

The Glamour of Backwardness

8 September - 18 October 2022

Art First, London

View Online
Catalogue Here

Installation viewInstallation viewInstallation viewInstallation view of Open Canon Helen MacAlister, The Wallpaper of Political Life, 2018, oil on linen, triptych, 29.7 x 63 cmHelen MacAlister, The Illusion of the Nation State, 2017, oil on linen, triptych, 29.7 x 63 cmHelen MacAlister, Banal Nationalism, 2018, oil on linen, diptych, 29.7 x 42 cmHelen MacAlister, Semantic Jiggery Pokery, 2019, oil on linen, diptych, 29.7 x 42 cm

To inaugurate Art First’s new gallery space, we are delighted to present a solo exhibition by Edinburgh based Scottish artist, Helen MacAlister. Her previous solo show was in 2013, titled At the Foot o’ Yon Excellin’ Brae. Accompanied by a fully illustrated online catalogue - accessable on this website – It is crystal clear that her explorations have continued to be rooted in Scotland’s culture. Her art penetrates deep into its languages, embedding words and phrases in exquisitely worked paintings and drawings. Elements of concrete poetry combine with her reductive, elegant approach to distill a specific and engaging cultural/political history.

This new work is urgent, it is vital, lucid and of its time, and now is a very good moment to see it.

View Exhibition Notice

Will Maclean

Points of Departure

4 June - 2 October 2022

City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Will Maclean Taxn

Spanning fifty years of work, this rich visual feast of 150 items celebrates Will Maclean’s position as one of the outstanding artists of his generation, still at the height of his powers. The Retrospective Exhibition, knowledgeably curated by David Patterson, CAC Director, is presented as part of the Edinburgh Festival 2022 and runs until 2 October.

Two new publications accompany the exhibition - the CAC catalogue for Points of Departure, and a new book, Compelled by Memory: the Lewis Land Monuments, 1994 - 2018, Will Maclean, with Marian Leven and Arthur Watson.

For details, see the Art First Newsletter. Each publication is £20 + £3 postage and copies are available from Art First in London or the City Art Centre in Edinburgh.

Of the 150 works featured, 50 are available for sale - please contact Art First for information.You can also enquire at the City Art Centre.

View Exhibition Notice


Will Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation imageWill Maclean, Points of Departure installation image
London Art Fair

London Art Fair 2022
Islington Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 0QH
20-24 April 2022
Preview: Wednesday, 20 April

Stand 10

Presenting:
Simon Lewty, Kate McCrickard, Jack Milroy, Mimei Thompson

Art First is delighted to present four artists working in different mediums with a singular approach to their subject matter. What connects them is a fascination with the natural world and our own relationship with it. The artists' work is held in museum and public collections and their exhibition and publication history can be explored on this website in the Artists section.

View Fair Notice


Simon Lewty, Badly Frightened, 1988, ink and pencil crayon on paper, 120 x 115 cmSimon Lewty, Fragment from a Shorthand Diary, 2015, acrylic ink, 41 x 48 cmKate McCrickard, Table Ghosts, 2021, oil on linen 162 x 130 cmJack Milroy, Dressed to Kill, 2020, cut book construction, 142 x 109 x 12 cmMimei Thompson, Metamorphosis (Morning Glory), 2019, oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cmJack Milroy, Fish & Flowers, 2021, inkjet print on paper, 125 x 105 x 25 cm

Simon Lewty
1941-2021

It is with great sadness that Art First announces Simon Lewty’s death, only days after his 80th Birthday. He had been unwell for over a year, and passed away peacefully. He dedicated his life to his art, to writing, drawing, reading, to pursuing the mysteries of dreams and the intangible, poetic passing of time. He leaves a rare legacy and will be sorely missed by friends and his fellow artists, for he was much loved and highly respected. Rest in Peace, dear, gentle, brilliant Simon.

View The Guardian
Obituary


Simon Lewty with Ian Hunt during his 2016 exhibition at Art First, ‘Charting a Decade II - Simon Lewty & Will Maclean’ Simon Lewty, A Song in Day, 2002, acrylic ink on paper, 191 x 181 cm (detail)

Simon Lewty & The Nereids
18 May - 4 July 2021

In collaboration with the Lettering Arts Trust

The Lettering Arts Trust Centre
Snape Maltings, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP

The exhibition takes its title from a group of small recent drawings inspired by Lewty’s love of Greek mythology. The Nereids in particular captured his imagination. Known as the fifty benign sea goddesses whose father was Nereus, the ‘honest old man of the sea’ and whose mother was Doris, the daughter of Oceanus, they symbolise everything that is beautiful and kind about the sea and its related waterways. Their melodious voices could be heard by all those who inhabited their mythological world.


Simon Lewty, Nereid List: Galatea - Dexamene, 2019, ink on tissue on paper, 25.2 x 25.4 cm Simon Lewty, Psamathe, 2019, red ink on tissue on paper, 28 x 28 cm Simon Lewty, Of Beach Shrines, 2019, coloured ink on paper, 26.4 x 26.7 cm Simon Lewty, List: Psamathe - Amphitrite, 2019, ink on tissue paper, 35.5 x 35.5 cm Installation view 1, Lettering Arts Centre, Snape Maltings Installation view 2, Lettering Arts Centre, Snape Maltings

View Press Release

London Art Fair

London Art Fair: Edit
20-31 January 2021 (remaining online for viewing till 31 March)

The 33rd Edition of the fair is entirely ONLINE - please visit the website for viewing: www.londonartfair.co.uk/london-art-fair-edit/

Presenting Luciano Bonomi, Simon Lewty, Kate McCrickard, Jack Milroy, Mimei Thompson

View Fair Notice


Kate McCrickard, Sanders, 2020, oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cmMimei Thompson, Metamorphosis: Sour Guava, oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cmJack Milroy, Renaissance Motorway (After Pollaiuolo), 1998, torn and reconstructed map pages, 80 x 50 cmSimon Lewty, Abstract Script II, 2014, ink and crayon on paper, 43.5 x 48 cmLuciano Bonomi, Fisherman in the Bay of Naples, 2006, brass and wood in Perspex box, 41 x 51 x 21 cmLuciano Bonomi, The Dream of Raymond Carver, 2007, brass and wood in Perspex box, 33 x 46 x 17 cm

From the Winter Studio, 2020-2021

Art First has great pleasure in presenting recent work selected from artists’ studios during Lockdown 2.0.

The illustrated document shows commended works with their prices, and the website provides supporting information presenting other works with the artists’ biographical and exhibition histories. Not only are there more works available than those illustrated here, but there are also works by other artists, including: Güler Ates, Helena Goldwater, Margaret Hunter, Gillian Lever, Simon Morley, Karel Nel, Graeme Williams.

More images can be emailed to you directly - you only have to ask. All contact details are in the document.

You might also enjoy reading the current Newsletter in the NEWS section, with reminders of the brilliant #artistsupportpledge scheme, where all works are £200 + postage, with payments made directly to the artists.

It will be delightful to hear from you and we hope that you will keep safe and in good health through the festive season.

View Catalogue

Will Maclean's studio
London Art Fair

London Art Fair 2020
Islington Design Centre, Upper Street, N1 0QH
22-26 January 2020
Preview 21 January

Stand 11

Presenting Kate McCrickard, Simon Lewty, Jack Milroy, Donald Teskey

Kate McCrickard, Card Player (Valentin), 2019, oil on canvas, 56 x 46 cmSimon Lewty, Nereid List: Galatea - Dexamene, 2019, acrylic and ink on tissue on paper, 25.2 x 25.4 cmJack Milroy: Traces of Passion, 2000, cut and constructed graphite drawing, 122 x 153 x 48.3 cmDonald Teskey: Coastal Report VIII Glenross Point, Co Mayo, 2016, acrylic on paper, 77 x 100 cmKate McCrickard Simon Lewty and Donald Teskey Donald Teskey, Cape Agulhas Jack Milroy, Traces of Passion

Additional new works by each artist are being completed in time for the fair, arriving fresh from the studio. Please feel free to contact us for pre-viewing and any information you wish to have in relation to prices and availability. We look forward very much to seeing you and to welcoming you to our stand.

View Fair Notice

Artists' illustrated PDFs

Kate McCrickard

Simon Lewty

Jack Milroy

Donald Teskey

British Art Fair logo

British Art Fair 2019
3-6 October 2019

Donald Teskey, Coastal Report VI, Ballyconnell, Co Sligo, 2016, 77 x 100 cmWill Maclean, Sea Portal, 2019, bronze, 35 cmSimon Lewty, Passage Towards Stone, 1984, acrylic, ink and pencil crayon on paper, 156 x 156 cmInstallation Image 1Installation Image 2Installation Image 3

Art First has great pleasure in presenting work by Simon Lewty, Will Maclean and Donald Teskey on stand 48 at this year’s edition of the British Art Fair.

View Fair Notice

Casting Light
Alex Lowery & Graeme Williams:
Painting West Bay, Photographing South Africa
6-29 June 2019
Art First in residence @ Eagle Gallery
159 Farrington Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3A

Silent home exteriors, empty of human form but fully suggestive of occupancy and the man-made is the subject matter of both artists, working in two completely different contexts and mediums.

Alex Lowery, Portland 128, 2018, 65 x 140 cm Alex Lowery, West Bay 266, 2013, 65 x 150 cm Alex Lowery, West Bay 297, 2018, 25 x 40 cm Alex Lowery, Portland 144, 2019, 30 x 55 cm

For Alex Lowery, Dorset’s West Bay and the island of Portland have been leitmotifs in his practice for over two decades. The marine light pervading all his work suggests the sea, while describing the forms that exist at its edge; piers, jetties, warehouses and sea front houses. His reductive, modernist approach creates a distinctive meditative beauty, tinged with poetic melancholy and subtlety.

Graeme Williams, Shopping Mall & Water Storage Tanks, Klerksdorp, 2013 (Scratching the Surface Series) Graeme Williams, Ermelo, 2012, digital print on Hahnemühle, 41 x 55 cm, Ed of 3 Graeme Williams, Malmesbury, 2011, digital print on Hahnemühle, 41 x 55 cm, Ed of 3 Graeme Williams, Vryburg, 2013, digital print on Hahnemühle, 41 x 55 cm, Ed of 3

Graeme Williams, on the other hand, has worked on an extensive series of photographic essays recording the rapidly changing landscape of South Africa following the end of Apartheid rule in 1994. Painting Over the Present and Scratching the Surface are the essays from which this group of photographs has been selected, and in which Williams focuses on peoples’ homes in environments occupied by some of South Africa’s poorest people.

“The bright colours act as visual trinkets to distract the viewer from harsh external realities and the pain of a life of subsistence. However, although they encourage denial, they are also suggestive of resilience and hope, and a sense of humanity that is retained in these poverty-stricken communities."

Unexpected formal analogies between the paintings and photographs become evident, making for a a conversation about looking, about responding and then subjecting the subject to the purifying, reductive process of composition and formal selection. Both artists have exhibited at Art First over the years and we are delighted to bring them together for the first time, hosted by Emma Hill of the first floor Eagle Gallery in Clerkenwell, where we have had the pleasure of being guest exhibitors over the past three years.

View Press Release

The World As Yet Unseen

The World As Yet Unseen
Women Artists in Conversation With Partou Zia
6 April – 15 June 2019
Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall

Gillian Ayres, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Sandra Blow, Eileen Cooper, Tacita Dean, Penny Florence, Naomi Frears, Barbara Hepworth, Rose Hilton, Lubaina Himid, Winifred Nicholson, Aimée Parrott, Bridget Riley, Nina Royle, Veronica Ryan, Devlin Shea, Lucy Stein and Kate Walters, Partou Zia.

This exhibition reveals a world both intimate and outward looking seen through the eyes of eminent women artists, based in or connected to, Cornwall.

At the centre are the paintings and poetry of the artist and writer Partou Zia (1958-2008) who was born in Iran but came to England in 1970, settling in Newlyn in 1993. Partou sadly passed away at the height of her artistic career. In 2003, she was the first recipient of the Porthmeor Studio residency awarded by Tate St Ives in collaboration with the Borlase Smart and John Wells Trust. Her residency culminated in an exhibition at Tate St Ives entitled Entering the Visionary Zone. The artist herself has been described as a ‘true visionary’.

An illustrated online catalogue is available containing some of Partou’s poetic writing and brief curatorial essays.

A Programme of Events with artists and writers will take place in the gallery throughout the exhibition and it is hoped that the dialogue will continue way beyond the period of the exhibition itself.

View Catalogue

View Press Release

Falmouth Art Gallery installation with Partou Zia, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and Bridget Riley Falmouth Art Gallery installation with Partou Zia and Gillian Ayres

Rear View Mirror. Jack Milroy: Five decades of work
Bermondsay Project Space
183-185 Bermondsay Street, London SE1 3UW

23 April - 12 May 2019

Jack Milroy, Grey Skies, 2015, cut and constructed book pages, 215 x 121 x 14 cm Jack Milroy, Grey Skies (detail), 2015, cut and constructed book pages, 215 x 121 x 14 cm Jack Milroy installation image Jack Milroy installation image Jack Milroy installation image Jack Milroy installation image

This is a celebratory exhibition to chart Jack Milroy’s artistic evolution from art school rebel of the late 1950s, to his heretical ‘evisceration’ of books and printed matter, which continues to this day. The recent works are consummate examples of his pioneering treatment of the printed page, revealing him to be a gentle and wry surrealist commentator. There is genuine astonishment at his virtuosic facility – but it is a skill that is simultaneously underpinned by a steady intellect and purpose.

View Illustrated PDF

View Press Release

Jack Milroy, Waterline, 2014, cut book-page construction, 148 x 131 x 12.5 cm Jack Milroy, The Collector, 2012, cut books, 99 x 61 x 13 cm Jack Milroy, Leaves, Mother and Child, 2018 Jack Milroy, Starry Sky II, 2010, edition of 10, 98 x 128 cm
London Art Fair

Jonathan Callan, Simon Morley, Carolyn Thompson
@ Eagle Gallery,159 Farrington Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3A
7 February - 8 March 2019

The forthcoming exhibition at the Eagle Gallery focusses on how the turbulent events of 1968 have inspired contemporary artists to comment upon the present. 1968 was the year Martin Luther King was assassinated, the year athletes raised their arms in a black power salute at the Olympics and when Enoch Powell gave his highly-provocative ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in Birmingham, UK. Meanwhile in Paris, student protests grew into a general strike and the streets were engulfed in riots. The ‘summer of love’ of 1967 was definitely over.

Bringing together work by three contemporary British artists who have used source material from the period as a starting point, the individual pieces question and explore shifting views on culture, identity and politics. This will also serve as a launching pad for Simon Morely’s new book, Seven Keys to Modern Art, published by Thames & Hudson.

London Art Fair

Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019
Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)
14–18 February 2019

Booth B4 in the Main Section, featuring the photography of Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Graeme Williams and Kim Wolhuter, and presenting Kate McCrickard, with Simon Lewty, Will Maclean, Jack Milroy and Donald Teskey as 'UK Messengers'. 

Booth TT4 in Tomorrow’s/Today, features Zyma Amien with a solo show

Booth B4 in the Main Section

Kate McCrickard, Café Scene I, 2019, oil on canvas, 84 x 84 cm Simon Lewty, Psamathe, 2018, (Nereid, sea nymph), ink on tissue, 30 x 35 cm Donald Teskey, Fractured Shorline III, 2013, four plate carborundum, one plate intaglio, edition of 73, 69 x 69 cm Graeme Williams, Malmesbury, 2011, archival digital print on Hahnemühle photo-rag paper, edition of 5 with two artist’s proofs, paper size 91 x 121 cm, image size 81 x 108 cm

Booth TT4 in Tomorrow’s/Today

Zyma Amien, Collective, gauze, cotton, buttons, 1.20 x 5 metres Zyma Amien, Unbridled Series I, printed on Hahnemühle paper, gauze thread, 70 x 90 cm

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London Art Fair

London Art Fair 2019
Islington Design Centre, Islington N1
16-20 January 2019
Preview 15 January

Presenting Kate McCrickard, Simon Lewty, Will Maclean, Jack Milroy, Mimei Thompson

On Booth 11 we are delighted to present Kate McCrickard and Mimei Thompson, two artists who have emerged over the past decade, with works entering important public collections. Fresh from the studio are paintings on a medium and intimate scale which reflect two contrasting urban realities - in Paris and in London - about people, and about nature in a man made environment. Fluent mark-making by both artists exploits chance to achieve enchanting resolutions.

Lewty, Maclean and Milroy each have hefty monographs charting five decades of work and exploring the context in which their art has evolved. From Milroy we have new boxed cut book constructions and a wild sardine tin work called Fifty Days of Lunch, while from Lewty and Maclean we mix new work with vintage pieces, emphasising the sense of continuity and depth of subject. In particular, from Lewty we present The Smiling Fair, from 1994. It warrants close looking, for its fascinating nonsense words such as hollux and pottopesh, with a pair of rabbits in evening dress appearing between coded numbers and mysterious declensions will indeed make you smile.

Kate McCrickard, Young Woman in Kimono, 2018, oil on japanese paper, offset drawing & monotype, 64 x 57 cm Mimei Thompson, Mentmore Terrace (4), 2018, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 cm Mimei Thompson, Moth, 2018, oil on canvas, 25.5 x 30.5 cm Simon Lewty, A Flourish which is to Transparency as the Ceaseless Wind is to Stone, 2011, ink & acrylic on paper, 96 x 123.5 cm Simon Lewty, The Smiling Fair (detail), 1994 Simon Lewty, The Smiling Fair, 1994 Will Maclean, Impossible Alignments, 2018, found objects, 28 x 28 x 26 cm Will Maclean, Ebb Tide, 2018 Jack Milroy, Pieces of Eight (by Six), 2016, cut bookpage construction, 130 x 105 x 15 cm Jack Milroy, 50 Days of Lunch (detail), 2018

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Also Known as Africa logo

Also Known as Africa 2018
Carreau du Temple, 75003, Paris
8-11 November 2018

ART FIRST is delighted to participate in the third edition of AKAA, at which we present photographic works by the legendary African Ceremonies photographers, Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, and from Graeme Williams there are selections from three different photographic essays: Painting over the Present, Scratching the Surface, and the political work from the 1990’s during the end of apartheid in South Africa.

Photography plays a special role in the second half of 20th Century and contemporary visual history in Africa, and we have great pleasure in presenting work by photographers who have dedicated decades of their lives to documenting, recording, celebrating and seeking the truth about the cultures to which they have devoted their time and commitment. The visual beauty we present stems from their careful in-depth observation, one that has won the acclaim, the awards and world-wide recognition by museums, collectors and publishers alike.

Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Dassanech Warrior, EthiopiaCarol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Kara Painted Boy with Flowers, Omo RiverGraeme Williams, Scratching the Surface Series -
Tony’s Cash & Carry, 2013, image Size 40.5 x 54 cm, edition of 5Graeme Williams, Painting Over the Present Series

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British Art Fair logo

British Art Fair 2018
20-23 September 2018

Christopher Cook, Figure 8 Wire, 2018, graphite on paper, 100 x 72 cm Christopher Cook, Skirmish, 2017, graphite on paper, 72 x 100 cm Donald Teskey, Coastal Report III – Erris, 2016,  acrylic on paper, 77 x 105 cm Donald Teskey, Riverbank IV, 2018, oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm

ART FIRST is pleased to present a two-person dialogue between the award-winning mid-career artists Christopher Cook, Reader in Painting at Plymouth University, and Donald Teskey, RHA, Dublin.

Christopher Cook’s series of luminous black and white graphites, suspended in oil on paper convey an edgy ambiguity within supposedly familiar 17th Century Dutch, Italian and Spanish still life tableaux, filled with rich detail and alluring imaginative fantasy. Cook recently won first prize at ‘New Light’ (Bowes Museum and tour) with one of the preliminary works from this group. His work is held in collections including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum New York, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge and the Yale Centre for British Art. 

Donald Teskey regularly takes up residencies in Co Mayo where the elemental clash of sea and stone on the western sea board have become a leitmotif of his art.  It is work from this dynamic West Coast series which has entered the collections of IMMA, Dublin – shown recently in their Coast-lines exhibition - The National Gallery, Dublin and the Limerick City Gallery of Art. We present a group of oils on paper from the coastal series, alongside Teskey’s ravishing, fresh-from-the-studio River Bank oils on canvas, not seen before in London.

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FNB Joburg Art Fair logo

FNB Joburg Art Fair
Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
6–9 September 2018

Joni Brenner, Hineni Hineni (LC), 2018, oil on canvas, 195 x 25 cm Kim Wolhuter, First Drink, Digital Print on Hahnemühle photo rag, 80 x 120 cm, edition of 10 Karel Nel, Orbicular Presences, 2015, pastel, metallic dust & dry pigment on bonded fibre fabric, 180 x 180 cm Graeme Williams, Stone Walls, Aerial View, Remnants of a Forgotten World Series, 2009, digital print on Hahnemühle photo rag, 54 x 54 cm, edition of 3 Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Salampasu Warrior, DR Congo

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Paper Matters installation image Paper Matters installation image Paper Matters installation image Paper Matters installation image

Paper Matters 2018
Works on paper: cut-outs/collages/drawings
Art First in residence at Eagle Gallery
159 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3AL
6-30 June 2018

Exhibiting Artists
Christopher Cook / Simon Lewty / Will Maclean / Bridget Macdonald / Jack Milroy

This is the second exhibition in our planned series, Paper Matters, and once again it takes place in the form of a ‘Residency’ at the Eagle Gallery in Clerkenwell, where Emma Hill directs her programme of museum quality independent exhibitions.

Bookish could be an alternative title and indeed it is an adjective that may be applied to all five artists in different ways. ‘Art and Literature’ is another shared category. Perhaps the underlying common denominator is the implication of narrative, for every piece tells a story of some kind, leaving it wide open for our interpretation, the way poetry does.

Each participant has taught in a national art school and they each have work in distinguished museum and other public collections in the UK and abroad. Over the past two decades they have formed connections and enjoyed dialogues while exhibiting at ART FIRST and we would like to share the quiet resonances between them, with you; the viewer and the collector.

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   Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018 installation image   
Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018 installation image   Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018 installation image

Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018
Cape Town International Convention Centre
16–18 February 2018

Stand C6, featuring new work by Simon Lewty, Kate McCrickard, Jack Milroy and Karel Nel, and introducing photography by Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Graeme Williams and Kim Wolhuter.

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    London Art Fair 2018

London Art Fair 2018
Business Design Centre, Islington N1
17-21 January 2018

Stand 11, featuring Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Christopher Cook, Kevin Laycock, Simon Lewty, and Jack Milroy.

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