The first international naive art exhibition to be held in Britain opened in London on Tuesday (25 September), attracting paintings from thirty-eight countries.
The first international naive art exhibition to be held in Britain opened in London on Tuesday (25 September), attracting paintings from thirty-eight countries. Although the works are classified as "naive" -- an expression which literally means innocent, and ironically, artless -- when applied to painting the term takes on extra significance. Sheldon William, who organised the exhibition described what the word naive meant to him and one of the artists whose work is on show, British painter, Joe Scarborough, outlined the reasons he took up art after working as a coal miner most of his life.
SYNOPSIS: The collection of paintings, which encompasses a vast variety of themes, is on display in London's Hamilton galleries.
Joe Scarborough's "Jubilee" demonstrates the qualities associated with naive painting. Innocence and artlessness come to imply a style unaffected by conventional genres of art. Hungarian painter, Tamas Galambos, is one of the many Eastern European artists exhibiting his work. His painting "Butterfly" shows how the simplicity of the style often results in a startling use of shape and colour. Stefan Juraszek of Poland painted with oil on wood relief to produce his "Poliptych". The panels represent Biblical scenes, including the Garden of Eden and the work is one of several religious pictures in the exhibition.
East Germany is represented at the show by Willibald Mayerl, with this painting, "Procession". Bulgarian artist, Kazakov Dimitar's work, "Recollection", shows the imaginative rather than realistic themes of many of the paintings. There is no precise definition of naive art offered in the exhibition catalogue.
The organisers preferred to sum up the style of the collection in one word - magical.