1883 Magazine

Held in the warm and cosy setting of Sandra Higgins’s Gallery Petit until April 19th, Vantage Point showcases landscape paintings by BP Portrait Award nominee Dan Llywelyn Hall.

Following in the footsteps of masters such as Turner and Constable, Llywelyn Hall is the demiurge of a world infused with his own memories. Often compared to the likes of William Blake, Samuel Palmer, and the Neo-Romantics of the 1940s – primarily John Piper, Michael Ayrton and David Jones – the artist skilfully combines an intense expressionist style characterised by vigorous brushstrokes and a free, non-naturalist use of colour, with what we may call the Romantic endeavour to give form to our deepest emotions and thoughts. Imbued with a sense of mysticism and mystery, Llywelyn Hall’s landscapes are shaped by his feelings and moods, modelled by his personal response to the world. Although inspired by concrete locations, the “objective depiction” gives way to a more intimate representation – one that appeals to the the soul and leads to an inward contemplation on the viewer’s part. In so doing, Llywelyn Hall captures “a moment of experience”, as fleeting and transient as beauty is – just as life is.

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Alongside the landscapes, the exhibition includes previously unseen studies of the portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, that Llywelyn Hall has recently completed. Commissioned by the Welsh Rugby Union, the painting is an imposing three-quarter study, painted on a 5ft by 4ft canvass in an expressionist style.

Born in Cardiff in 1980, Dan Llywelyn Hall graduated from the University of Westminster in 2003; in the same year he was awarded The Sunday Times Young Artist of the Year prize. Shortlisted the BP Portrait Award in 2009, Llywelyn Hall has seen his work exhibited at the National Gallery of Wales, the Imperial War Museum (London), the House of Lords, BT’s corporate collection, Barclays’ corporate collection, the Museum of Modern Art Wales and the Contemporary Art Society of Wales. Two of his portraits – one of the First World War veterans Henry Allingham and the other of Harry Patch – were recently displayed at Windsor Castle and are now a permanent feature in the Royal Collection.

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Recent solo shows include: National Museum and Galelry Wales, Cardiff; Guildhall Art Gallery, London; MoMAWales, Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth; BBCWales, On-show Gallery, Cardiff; Brecknock Museum, Brecon. Group exhibitions include: National Portrait Gallery, London; City Art Gallery, Southampton; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburg; National Library of Wales; Aberystwyth; Saatchi Gallery, London; Teby Museum, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

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Vantage Point will be running until April 19th at Gallery Petit, 46 Harcourt Terrace, London SW10 9JR. Admission free, please contact: sandra@sandrahiggins.com

On April 17th from 7pm Gallery Petit will host a conversation between Dan Llywelyn Hall and Vincent Dowd, Chief Art Reporter for BBC World Service Radio.


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