Art Fairs & Exhibitions
London Art Fair

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

Stand 10

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.

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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

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.

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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

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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:

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

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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.

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Will Maclean's studio
British Art Fair logo

British Art Fair 2020
24-27 September 2020

Like everyone else, we are disapppointed that because of COVID 19 this year’s edition of the BAF has had to be cancelled. Our stand would have looked beautiful with a dialogue of works by Bridget Macdonald and Donald Teskey. Instead, they can be viewed online in the illustrated and priced pdfs below. Please enjoy looking at them and contact Art First with enquiries and viewing appointments.

Bridget Macdonald

Donald Teskey

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

> View Press Release

    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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