Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Bruce Yardley at the Catto Gallery

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 24th March, 2012

Impressionism may have had its heyday in Paris in the late 19th Century, but among some contemporary British artists several aspects of Impressionism — such as an emphasis on the depiction of light with all its changing qualities — can be identified. One of the most successful is the relatively young Bruce Yardley, who has an exhibition on at the Catto Gallery in Hampstead until 15 April. Many of his exterior works depict familiar locations, in Rome or Venice or wherever, though often with a slightly quirky focus, so that viewing the scene one gets the sense of seeing it through the artist’s sometimes mischievous eye. I particularly like his canvas of The Broad, Oxford, in which the viewer’s gaze is magnetically drawn to the figure of a traffic warden standing on the pavement (and after whom the picture is titled). But in my view Bruce Yardley’s great forte is found in his still lives and interiors, many of them painted within his own home, as sunlight through windows captures objects or flowers or even the moulding of a fireplace mantle. I especially loved his painting of white lilies in a vase standing on an occasional table. The artist was at the vernissage of the exhibition earlier this week and comments, ‘the more light effect one can introduce into a composition, the more fizz and interest there is likely to be in the fnished painting.’ Spot on! 



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