No sooner had our first exhibition ended late last year we began the search for new artists and works for the gallery. It is not an easy process, we want to forge our own path and show only the quality that we feel passionate enough to exhibit.
We have seven new artists in this show alongside several whom we showed last time. The quality is exceptional. It is on these foundations that we wish to grow: selecting the very best pieces and presenting them in museum quality exhibitions within the gallery.
This Spring/Summer Exhibition ticks those boxes.
During the last show we presented several works by the painter Don McKinlay that were kindly loaned from the Dave Gunning collection. Don died last year and we wanted to pay our respects to him and his wonderful talent by hanging these pictures. One of the showpieces in our Spring/Summer Exhibition is a huge Don McKinlay oil from the early 1970s. It is over 6.5ft wide and one of the largest paintings the artist ever produced. The subject is a group of friends standing outside the Philharmonic Dining Room in Liverpool. It was exhibited in the Walker Gallery in the 70s, and in our opinion is one of Don’s most important works. It is a pleasure to have this painting for sale in the gallery.
New artists being shown are Miranda Richmond, Shirley Fletcher, Mike Knowles, Leon Kossoff, Colin Beckett, John McCombs and Kenneth Lawson. I could write an essay on each (and probably will at some point), but the work really speaks for itself. There are also recently acquired paintings by artists with national reputations, like Peter Prendergast, Leslie Marr and Miles Richmond. Also some superb pieces by Michael Kelly, who is an artist we feel to be one of the best working in the north-west today. New works too by Richard Fitton, as well as some of the finest Arthur Berry pictures in the country. We also have ceramics by Tim Copsey and Lanty Ball alongside some unique transcription sculpture by Colin Beckett.
The gallery itself has also seen developments. We have two new rooms upstairs, which has increased hanging space greatly. Consequntly we now probably have one of the biggest commercial gallery spaces in Greater Manchester. This extra room gives us the opportunity to be bold in our curating, even allowing some works to be exhibited individually, again giving Colony the feeling of a public gallery.
Finally, just wanted to mention Colin Jellicoe, an artist and gallerist friend who sadly died recently. He ran a gallery for 55 years and is a legendary figure in Manchester. Copies of a recent essay about Colin are available in the gallery, and we have a few of his paintings on loan for you to see.
Enjoy the show!
Richard & Ant