Author: Charlotte Bearn

Abstract ideas: Meet the new artists making waves (and other shapes)

We put a spotlight on contemporary abstraction, as created by artists Cleo Barbour, Dave Towers and Mark McClure.

Have you ever become so familiar with something that you stop even seeing it properly? For instance, your home; when it’s freshly decorated it feels like a whole new space, but once you get used to furniture sitting in a certain place or walls and floors being a particular colour or pattern, it’s easy to begin to take it for granted.

This has happened (stylistically speaking) in the art world again and again through the centuries, but one of the most distinctive periods of renewal (and, for some, upset) came with the advent of the Cubists at the turn of the 20th century.

Quite literally breaking down their scenery and setups, removing perspective and reformatting what they saw to create flat planes containing numerous viewpoints, the artists at the forefront of these movements – think Picasso, Braque, Leger and Gris – forced themselves and those viewing their work, to stop taking their experience for granted and look at it anew. Albeit in a slightly jumbled, disjointed and at times uncomfortable way.

But those artists recognised the need to try and see things with fresh eyes, or from a different angle or perspective in order to be present and engage with whatever was in front of them. Abstraction may not take on quite the same form these days, but it still operates on the same basic principle: dealing with ideas rather than actual events.

 

We’re showcasing the work of some new artists who we are adding to the artrepublic mix – Cleo Barbour, Dave Towers and Mark McClure – each of whose work (coincidentally) is based in abstraction. From bespoke surface design and hand-embellished prints to textural and typographical paint applications, let us introduce you to the latest trio to join our artrepublic family of artists.

Cleo Barbour Triangle by Cleo Barbour

Taking inspiration from tropical travels, architecture and Art Deco design, among other things, Brighton-based artist (and shoe designer) Cleo Barbour is known for her strong colour palettes, geometric compositions and hand-embroidered finishes.

Mark McClure Murmation by Mark McClure

A respect for materials runs through Marc McClure’s dynamic abstract work. Whether executed on a grand scale in a public space or on smaller surfaces, the artist’s sculptural (even in 2D) geometric pieces draws attention to scale, structure and the space in which they are displayed.

Dave Towers Cosmic Blob by Dave Towers

A career in graphic design, has seen Dave Towers heading up design teams at some of the UK’s best advertising agencies and picking up a number of awards for his work. And this background underpins Towers’ artwork too – layered colours, attention to line and typographical processes showcase an abstraction of ideas as well as form.

We spoke to each of the three artists for a quick Q&A about their work and take on abstraction - find these on our Editorial Page!

art to arrive by christmas

Rise no.1 Art Print by Lisa Lloyd
Exclusive

Rise no.1

60 x 60cm

£150

60 x 60cm

£48

6 x 10 cm

RYCA £80

Blowing A Kiss

12 x 12cm

£80

12 x 12cm

United Colour of London Art Print by Jayson Lilley
Exclusive

£195

31 x 24cm

BALLOON DOG 7 Art Print by VeeBee
Exclusive
VeeBee £270

BALLOON DOG 7

21 x 29.7cm

£270

21 x 29.7cm

Love is the Drug - Pink Diamond Dust, 2020 Art Print by Ryan Callanan
Exclusive

£200

60 x 60cm

Tom Lewis £125

Stag

30 x 30 cm

£125

30 x 30 cm

Gorilla - Pink Foil

42 x 59.4cm

£195

42 x 59.4cm

Jungle Blooms 2 Small

32.5 x 32.5cm

£50

32.5 x 32.5cm

Not My First Rodeo (11th Edition) Art Print by Babak Ganjei
Exclusive

£135

50 x 70cm

Choco Happy Dog

12 x 6 x 12cm

£300

12 x 6 x 12cm

£150

50 x 70cm

£150

60 x 30 cm

Canary

40 x 50cm

£150

40 x 50cm

£50

50 x 70cm

£125

60 x 60 cm

Miss Travel UK

26 x 33 cm

£55

26 x 33 cm

I Love London

22 x 17 cm

£60

22 x 17 cm

Snoopy Cube

40 x 40 cm

£195

40 x 40 cm

Sara Pope £150

Amped

18.3 x 18.3 x 3.2cm

£150

18.3 x 18.3 x 3.2cm

Oli Mumby £120

£120

59.4 x 42cm

Shark Tank (Neon Green and Pink) Art Print by Memori Prints
Exclusive

£85

52.7 x 38.7cm

You've Got the Love Art Print by Kid-B
Exclusive
Kid-B £65

£65

50 x 50cm

£195

51 x 24 cm

Honey Bee, 2020 Art Print by Dylan Floyd
Exclusive

Honey Bee, 2020

20 x 20cm

£35

20 x 20cm

Ellipsis - Remix, 2020 Art Print by Dan Hillier
Exclusive

£98

42 x 42 cm

Right Hand Red, 2020 Art Print by Static
Exclusive
Static £35

£35

20 x 20cm

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