Jenny Blyth Fine Art exhibited William Cotterill at London Art Fair 16 - 22 January 2013



2 - 27 February 2012

Presented by Jenny Blyth Fine Art in association with Art Jericho.

William Cotterill is an emerging contemporary British artist based in Oxford. Aged 27, Cotterill graduated from Central Saint Martins, University Of The Arts London in 2006.

Tangle of Matter & Ghost captures urban and rural scenes in and around the City of Oxford. A far cry from the more familiar dreaming spires, Cotterill is engaged with the quieter, overlooked corners of Oxford from the Carmelite monastery at Boars Hill to warehousing that fronts the Oxford canal. Panning over rooftops or exploring the ‘under belly’ of buildings, Cotterill is engaged with the process of painting as much as his subject. Although his work is largely figurative, he is drawn towards abstraction, as evidenced by the diversity of the forty paintings in this exhibition.

Each of his canvases is an exploration of movement, density, colour and texture. Overall, his work has a ghostly, ambivalent sensibility imparted through abstraction and impasto where the subject is not always clearly discernible. Surfaces are built up over long periods of time. In classical tradition his preparation and use of materials includes lead white, marble dust, chalk, egg, flour, and glazes of transparent oil layered onto canvas or board that has been sanded and sized in rabbit skin glue.

Cotterill’s palette is redolent of Dutch 17th Century masters such as Rembrandt, and yet he delights in leaden whites and blues to enhance a myriad of rich browns and blacks creating his very own contemporary ‘old masters’.ClearlyCotterill’s muses include contemporary British giants such as Auerbach and Kossoff. There are flavours of Kiefer, and whispers of Tapies as Cotterill gets to grips with abstraction.

Oxford, with all the beauty and history that it invokes, provides Cotterill with the perfect foil for his painting. Although the ‘dreaming spires’ are but a backcloth for an almost Dickensian representation of urbanity, his compositions recapture the spirit of times remembered and they impart a moody timelessness.