holly frean.


Na Na Na Na Na, after Sir William Nicholson’s Portrait of Gertrude Jekyll of 1920, 2012

“Intimate in scale, richly coloured, playfully serious, seriously playful…”

Rather aptly named, Before and After is an exhibition of the work of Holly Frean at Rebecca  Hossack Gallery in London. Apt, because there is something reassuring and familiar about the contorted faces – these are paintings we have seen before. Their formats, too, are traditional – oval shaped, like portraiture of the past.

But these paintings are thoroughly modern. Layered thickly and jewel-coloured, they feel intimate, like they have been painted for you, the viewer. I want to peer into them rather than stand back from them. The wonderful titles just add to the playfulness…

cat womanmonaandy warhol

What do you think? Do you feel a sense of familiarity and fondness when you view these paintings? 

Before and After, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, until 19 January 2013.

More in the gallery series, here

6 thoughts on “holly frean.

  1. poppytump

    What an imagination ! Made me smile broadly 😀
    Yes familiar work many . But I have to say I am struggling to name a lot of the artists on the 2×9 19C Artists boards – which actually shows how important our human features are ! Maybe Bad Hair days just don’t matter 🙂
    Thanks for another post on an exhibition which I wouldn’t have known about . I think I am running out of time to see this and the Maisie B .

    1. owlshouseblog Post author

      yes, the imagination involved in coming up with these is so inspiring, also the sense of humour 🙂 thanks for commenting – I’m thrilled if the posts inspire you to want to go and see these exhibitions. jane

  2. Pingback: the wonderful world of oliver jeffers. | owl's house london.

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