Austin / Desmond Fine Art

Austin / Desmond Fine Art Austin / Desmond Fine Art specialises in Modern British & Contemporary art. Established in 1979, the gallery has been located in Bloomsbury since 1988.
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Austin / Desmond is renowned for holding a high quality stock of Modern British & International art and for representing leading contemporary British artists. Each year the gallery undertakes a varied programme of exhibitions including our annual 'Aspects of Modern British Art' show in the Autumn.

Operating as usual

Exhibition | Julian Perry: Where Grew the Tree | 11 October – 4 November 2019 There rolls the deep where grew the tree. ...
19/09/2019

Exhibition | Julian Perry: Where Grew the Tree | 11 October – 4 November 2019

There rolls the deep where grew the tree. O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
In Memoriam, Alfred Lord Tennyson

Austin Desmond Fine Art is delighted to present Julian Perry’s one person show Where Grew the Tree.

Disintegration, loss and the tragedy of Climate breakdown provide the context and inspiration for the artist’s haunting new paintings. The pernicious effects of rising sea levels and resulting coastal erosion on England’s Suffolk coast have provided the artist with powerful images. Perry has transformed found locations into paintings imbued with current anxieties about environmental catastrophe. Perry’s debt to the British landscape tradition compounds the poignancy of the works. The irony that it is Suffolk, county of Constable and Gainsborough that is dissolving into the sea, is not lost on the artist.

Since Perry’s last show at Austin Desmond in 2012 his work has attracted considerable international attention, including exhibiting at the 2015 Venice Biennale and featuring in papers published by the Paul Mellon Center for studies in British Art at Yale. A larger version of this exhibition will be held at Southampton City Art Gallery in June 2021

Image: Coastal Triptych 2019

Exhibition | We delighted to announce Points of Contact, a show curated by Julian Page that surveys seventy years of pri...
24/04/2019

Exhibition | We delighted to announce Points of Contact, a show curated by Julian Page that surveys seventy years of printmaking in Britain | 2 May - 15 June 2019

Artists Include: Michael Andrews, Kenneth Armitage, Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Stephen Buckley, Victoria Burge, Patrick Caulfield, Prunella Clough, Robert Colquhoun, Keith Coventry, Robyn Denny, Peter Doig, Tracey Emin, Paul Feiler, Lucian Freud, Terry Frost, Naum Gabo, William Gear, Richard Hamilton, Marcelle Hanselaar, Patrick Heron, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Gordon House, Allen Jones, Leon Kossoff, Michael Landy, Kenneth Martin, Alexander Massouras, Kate McCrickard, Ben Nicholson, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor Pasmore, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, William Scott, Colin Self, Joe Tilson, Julian Trevelyan, Euan Uglow, Fred Uhlman, Keith Vaughan, John Wells.

The exhibition borrows its title from a series of prints by Victor Pasmore made during the 1960s and 1970s. Here, Points of Contact becomes a description of the mechanics of printmaking, of the printed image’s moment of generation when paper meets ink. Points of Contact also describes the complicated matrix of relationships that connect these forty-four artists across seventy years of printmaking. The exhibition suggests print’s wider historical resonances—from electronics to the first moon landing fifty years ago, print has influenced the twentieth century’s most significant achievements. The diversity of methods and forms visible in the exhibition testifies to the visual power of print since 1949. The exhibition joins together these forms with this wider historical argument in order to reassert print’s vitality today.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue available for purchase in the gallery.

http://www.austindesmond.com/exhibitions/current/points-of-contact/2019/114

20/12/2018

Christmas Period | The gallery will close for the Christmas period at 1pm on 21 December and re-open on 7 January 2019.

Forthcoming Exhibition | Austin / Desmond Fine Art is pleased to announce their winter exhibition. Separated into two pa...
20/12/2018

Forthcoming Exhibition | Austin / Desmond Fine Art is pleased to announce their winter exhibition. Separated into two parts, the upstairs gallery displays the work of British and international artists, whilst the downstairs gallery focuses on the work of traditional post-war British landscape painting. The show will run until the end of March.

Current Exhibition | Nocturnal Union: a View on The Surreal | until 30 November 2018“…(they) will point to the strange a...
13/09/2018

Current Exhibition | Nocturnal Union: a View on The Surreal | until 30 November 2018

“…(they) will point to the strange and disconcerting beauty of scribbles found on tempting walls, of objects found in unaccustomed places;...(they) will demonstrate the fantasies of nature and will ask everyone to admit the vividness of their dreams….(they) will oppose the conscious and the unconscious, the deed and the dream, truth and fable, reason and unreason, and out of these opposites he will in the dialectical process of his artistic activity create a new synthesis.” From Herbert Read’s introduction to the First International Surrealist Exhibition Catalogue, 1936

Austin / Desmond fine Art is pleased to present Nocturnal Union, an exhibition which brings together the works of British surrealists together with contemporary artists whose works continue to capture the ‘fantasies of nature’ and the ‘vividness of their dreams’.

Artists include: John Banting, Helen Chadwick, Cecil Collins, Ithell Colquhoun, Dorothy Cross, Merlyn Evans, Sam Haile, Tristram Hillier, Harry Hoodless, Judith Hopf, Charles Howard, Leslie Hurry, Katalin Ladik, Reuben Mednikoff, Yayoi Kusama, Allan Milner, Paul Nash, John Pemberton, Grace Pailthorpe, Roland Penrose, Peter Rose-Pulham, Humphrey Spender, Paula Rego, Julian Trevelyan, Günter Weseler, Catherine Yarrow.

Image: John Banting, Dead Gossip, 1931

We are open today (Saturday 2nd June) until 2.30pm #austindesmondfineart
02/06/2018

We are open today (Saturday 2nd June) until 2.30pm #austindesmondfineart

Press | 'Fragmented Dialogues is a wide-reaching visual study in political subjugation and personal expression that depi...
16/05/2018
Fragmented Dialogues - Mauricio Valenzuela and Mario Fonseca in London

Press | 'Fragmented Dialogues is a wide-reaching visual study in political subjugation and personal expression that depicts a country’s most difficult times and should not be underestimated for its boldness and risk...A skillful combination of conceptual thinking and social documentary of life under great tyranny...'

Danny Holden reviews 'Fragmented Dialogues' in Wide Walls

https://www.widewalls.ch/mauricio-valenzuela-mario-fonseca-austin-desmond/

Enigmatic and poetic, Fragmented Dialogues is an exhibition of photography from a repressive period in Chilean culture. The show, at Austin / Desmond Fine Art in collaboration with CF-LART London, presents the work of Mario Fonseca and Mauricio Valenzuela.

Tonight | Please join us for the Private View of Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela (Art and Iden...
10/05/2018

Tonight | Please join us for the Private View of Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela (Art and Identity in 1980s Chile) from 6-8 pm. Exhibition in collaboration with CF-LART.

www.austindesmond.com

Private View | Please join us on Thursday 10 May, 6-8 pm for the opening of Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauric...
01/05/2018

Private View | Please join us on Thursday 10 May, 6-8 pm for the opening of Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela (Art and Identity in 1980s Chile).

Forthcoming Exhibition | Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela (Art and Identity in 1980s Chile)11 M...
03/04/2018

Forthcoming Exhibition | Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela (Art and Identity in 1980s Chile)
11 May – 30 June 2018

Austin / Desmond Fine Art is delighted to announce Fragmented Dialogues, an exhibition in collaboration with CF-LART London that brings together the work of conceptual artist Mario Fonseca and photographer Mauricio Valenzuela. Both Fonseca and Valenzuela worked in Santiago, Chile, during the 1970s and 1980s. Despite two seemingly very different bodies of work, both artists intrinsically shared a strong dialogue around the notions of absence and prohibited identity.

From 1972 until the early 1990s, a military dictatorship under the rule of Augusto Pinochet plunged Chile into total darkness and silence. People found safety in reclusion and anonymity for fear of being reported to a regime characterised by repression, as well as systematic arrests, tortures and disappearances. Hiding one’s true nature, including all political thoughts and beliefs, was a matter of survival. For Mario Fonseca, a trained artist, the climate was stifling. Disillusioned, he initially chose not to pursue his own practice. Instead he worked as a graphic designer, publisher and editor, becoming instrumental in promoting the works of other influential Chilean artists and poets of the time, such as Eugenio Dittborn, members of the neo-avant-garde group CADA, Paz Errazuriz and Alfredo Jaar, amongst others.

In the late 1970s, encouraged by Jaar with whom he collaborated closely, Fonseca began to experiment with ideas influenced by conceptual art. From 1979 to 1983, he produced a series of photographic, mixed media and film works. Central to these works was Fonseca’s use of the self-portrait. By placing himself at the centre of the image, Fonseca ran the risk of exposing his face to a ‘state system that unleashes all its apparatus in the disappearance of individuals’. Yet by partially obscuring his face (for example by using a black stripe across his eyes or by covering his face with broken glass), he remained anonymous. These works were not only a daring statement against a censorial regime, in which one’s existence was always at risk, but were also Fonseca’s way of addressing the ‘exhausting impossibility to be different – as a principle of one’s identity – in the face of an overwhelming homogeneity.’

By titling the series Habeas Corpus (which refers to a judicial normative that guarantees the liberty of every individual, preventing ‘arbitrary’ detentions), Fonseca further addressed the disappearances and imprisonments committed by the regime. His directness was unsettling, even amongst his fellow artists, who preferred to work with more subtle linguistic codes and who strongly criticised Fonseca (as they did Jaar), after his controversial exhibition of the same title at Gallery Sur in 1982.

Unlike Fonseca, Valenzuela’s work is rooted in social documentary. It stands amongst the most unusual and original of the ‘golden period’ of Chilean photography in the 1980s and 1990s. His restrained visual narratives, shot mostly in atmospheric conditions of heavy fog and low light, captured the climate of overwhelming despair and oppression that weighed on Santiago and its inhabitants under the military regime. His photographic series were built around unconventional yet careful compositions of anonymous people, often with their faces cropped or obscured, as they hurried to disappear out of shot. In his work, Valenzuela questioned censorship and freedom of expression; what is seen carries as much weight as what is hidden.

Fragmented Dialogues attempts to expand the understanding of Chilean art history beyond the established ‘official’ scene by highlighting the work of two, often excluded artists, who made key and historically important contributions to Chile’s artistic movement during the country’s darkest years.

Exhibition | From Monday 19th March we will be showing a selection of works by both British and International artists in...
12/03/2018

Exhibition | From Monday 19th March we will be showing a selection of works by both British and International artists including: Frank Auerbach, Edward Burra, Patrick Caulfield, Eduardo Chillida, Prunella Clough, John Craxton, Merlyn Evans, Barry Flanagan, Ivon Hitchens, David Hockney, Ronald Brooks Kitaj, Peter Lanyon, Tony Longson, Kenneth Martin, Mary Martin, Margaret Mellis, Paul Nash, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor Pasmore, Terry Pope, Bridget Riley, Ceri Richards and Julian Trevelyan.

Image: Paul Nash, Ironmaster's Folly, 1941
Pencil and watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour, 38.1 x 55.9 cm

Press | Paul Carey-Kent review's Mohammad Ali Talpur."...it’s still tempting to say that the best new Rileyesque show is...
31/01/2018
Bridget Riley’s succession: by self and otherwise - FAD Magazine

Press | Paul Carey-Kent review's Mohammad Ali Talpur.

"...it’s still tempting to say that the best new Rileyesque show is across town at Austin Desmond, where the Pakistani artist Mohammad Ali Talpur – quite openly a Riley fan – does quite a few new things with Riley’s early language of repeated parallel black lines on white ground. Some arrive afresh at optical movement – though Talpur says he doesn’t aim at that any more than he does at spiritual readings. Two, which make a grid of squares from straight verticals and curved horizontals, give the illusion of colours if viewed from a few feet back.."

http://paulsartworld.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/pauls-art-stuff-on-train-241-260.html

At 86, Bridget Riley has a show, predominantly of recent work, at David Zwirner. It’s a mixed bag. Two stunning black disc works, a brave inclusion as they are from the early sixties and provide a tough measure for the rest of the show; new works returning to black and white using part-curved tria...

Victor Pasmore, Relief Painting in White, Black and Maroon, 1952 on show at the London Art Fair, stand 27 until 21 Janua...
18/01/2018

Victor Pasmore, Relief Painting in White, Black and Maroon, 1952 on show at the London Art Fair, stand 27 until 21 January 2018.

Other artists include: Frank Auerbach, Prunella Clough, Roger De Grey, Merlyn Evans, Barry Flanagan, Elizabeth Frink, Terry Frost, Ivon Hitchens, David Hockney, Ronald Brooks Kitaj, Paul Nash, Eduardo Paolozzi, Julian Perry, John Piper, Terry Pope, Bridget Riley, William Scott, Julian Trevelyan, Keith Vaughan.

https://www.londonartfair.co.uk/

Exhibition | Mohammad Ali Talpur26 January  - 28 February 2018Private View: 25th January 2018, 6-8pmAustin / Desmond Fin...
03/01/2018

Exhibition | Mohammad Ali Talpur
26 January - 28 February 2018

Private View: 25th January 2018, 6-8pm

Austin / Desmond Fine Art is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of artist Mohammad Ali Talpur (B. 1976, Hyderabad, Pakistan). The exhibition, in collaboration with Canvas Gallery (Karachi) will show a selection of recent paintings which demonstrate his continued interest in the line.

Having attended the National College of Arts in Lahore, Talpur reacted against what he saw as a pressure from academia on students to “produce charged works.” Instead he aims to paint without loaded references, content or emotion, using only the line.

“When you put a single line on a blank surface, it may not have an expression but when you repeat it, it imbues a new kind of energy to the surface. Take the traditional arts of ceramics and textiles. Or better still, classical music. Be it Kishori Amonkar or Ustad Amir Khan, the repetition in their music with slight variation or improvisation adds a new character to their art. Mystical poetry is another parallel that presents itself as an open-ended statement, appealing to the layman and the intellectual alike. To translate and transform those nuances into a visual language was a challenge. To reinterpret colours into black and white was also painstaking.” Mohammad Ali Talpur

Recent solo exhibitions include: 2016, Till the Last Look, Canvas Gallery (Karachi); 2015, Lahore Art Gallery (Lahore); 2014, Latitude 28, (New Delhi); 2012, Alif, Green Cardamom (London); 2008 Leeka, Art & Public (Geneva); 2008, X.V.A. Gallery (Dubai). Some of the group shows in which Talpur has been exhibited include: 2013, Extra I Ordinary, Group show curated by Rashid Rana, Canvas Gallery (Karachi); 2011, Drawn from Life, Abbot Hall Art Gallery (Kendal); 2011, The Rising Tide: New Directions in Art from Pakistan 1990–2010, Mohatta Palace Museum, (Karachi); 2008, Orients Sans Frontieres, Espace Louis Vuitton (Paris).

Talpur currently teaches at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan where he also lives.

Closing soon | This Friday (8th December) will be the final day for our current exhibition 'Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Bea...
05/12/2017

Closing soon | This Friday (8th December) will be the final day for our current exhibition 'Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Beach'. An illustrated catalogue is available to purchase from the gallery.

Press | 'Keith Vaughan’s Pagham Beach photographs, which make up the most part of the current exhibition at Austin Desmo...
21/11/2017
Photomonitor - Exhibition Reviews, Reviews - Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Beach, Photographs and Collages from the 1930s

Press | 'Keith Vaughan’s Pagham Beach photographs, which make up the most part of the current exhibition at Austin Desmond Fine Art, are not just images; they are a story embodied in an object.'

Review of our current exhibition by Matthew Turner in Photomonitor

http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/25319-2/

Keith Vaughan’s Pagham Beach photographs, which make up the most part of the current exhibition at Austin Desmond Fine Art, are not just images; they are a story embodied in an object. Namely, the tatty little black box they were found in, which was carefully made by Vaughan from overexposed photogr...

Press | 'Where to Buy' The Week reviews Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Beach
17/11/2017

Press | 'Where to Buy' The Week reviews Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Beach

Press | "ARTIST Keith Vaughan wanted to study the male form. Like Michaelangelo breaking into Florentine mortuaries in t...
11/11/2017
Leica virgin

Press | "ARTIST Keith Vaughan wanted to study the male form. Like Michaelangelo breaking into Florentine mortuaries in the dead of night, he knew he had to get to know the human body to be able to paint it correctly.

But he was also a gay man living at a time when his sexuality potentially made him an outlaw – and his art, which included taking photographs of naked men, could bring the authorities to his door.

Now a new exhibition features previously un­seen photographs that he took in the pre-war period – and show a direct link to later paintings, while revealing more about an artist whose work is being rediscovered."

Camden New Journal review by Dan Carrier
http://camdennewjournal.com/article/leica-virgin

Dan Carrier reports on an exhibition of hitherto unseen photos by artist Keith Vaughan

Press | 'Lost Photos of Nude Men on the Beach from the 1930s, We showcase an exclusive series of photos by pioneering Br...
07/11/2017
Lost Photos of Nude Men on the Beach from the 1930s

Press | 'Lost Photos of Nude Men on the Beach from the 1930s, We showcase an exclusive series of photos by pioneering British painter Keith Vaughan, taken during covert seaside visits '
Another Man reviews 'Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Beach'

http://www.anothermanmag.com/life-culture/10054/lost-photos-of-nude-men-on-the-beach-from-the-1930s

We showcase an exclusive series of photos by pioneering British painter Keith Vaughan, taken during covert seaside visits

Address

Pied Bull Yard, 68/69 Great Russell Street
London
WC1B3

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Rd or Holborn

General information

We are situated in close proximity to the British Museum, where Bury Place meets Great Russell Street. The Gallery entrance is on Pied Bull Yard, which is also home to the London Review of Books & Truckles Wine Bar.

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:30 - 05:30
Thursday 10:30 - 05:30
Friday 10:30 - 05:30

Telephone

+44 20 7242 4443

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