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!

abstract artworks

Suspended Elements £210

Mr Penfold

84 x 64cm

Limited edition of 60

Interior by Hannah Thomas
Exclusive
Interior £300

Hannah Thomas

55.9 x 68.5cm

Limited edition of 30

Long Way Around - A2 £230

Matt Jukes

42 x 60cm

Limited edition of 50

Cubist pochoir for Cahiers d'Art, 1926 by Pablo Picasso
Rare
Cubist pochoir for Cahiers d'Art, 1926 £1,160

Pablo Picasso

22 x 28cm

Limited edition of 700

Fireflies - Pink £325

Tom Lewis

50 x 63.5cm

Limited edition of 25

Devon Sky - Shadow £200

Mr Penfold

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 12

Tutti Frutti by Hannah Carvell
Exclusive
Tutti Frutti £85

Hannah Carvell

29 x 42 cm

Limited edition of 12

Floating Feelings £170

Mr Penfold

51.5 x 60.5cm

Limited edition of 20

Mental Freeze by Hannah Thomas
Exclusive
Mental Freeze £300

Hannah Thomas

68.5 x 68.5cm

Limited edition of 30

Round (Mono 1) - Supermundane £125

Jealous Inc.

60.5 x 55cm

Limited edition of 36

Throwing Shapes - Mr Penfold £95

Jealous Inc.

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 36

Laughing Gas 3 £7,440

Dragomir Misina

200cm x 120cm

Unique

Blue Nude Abstract Study £145

Benjamin Thomas Taylor

50 x 70cm

Limited Edition of 50

In The Midst by Hannah Thomas
Exclusive
In The Midst £300 £240

Hannah Thomas

58 x 68.5 cm

Limited Edition of 30

Untitled Landscape III £195

Benjamin Thomas Taylor

60 x 60 cm

Limited Edition of 10

Paralluxe Primary Edition £100

Darren John

50 x 50cm

Limited Edition 25

Lumen, 2020 £150

James Bates

38 x 38cm

Limited Edition of 100

Orange with Blue £75

Mark Beattie

30 x 30cm

Limited Edition of 30

Realm of the Heretic, 2020 by Hannah Thomas
Exclusive
Realm of the Heretic, 2020 £300

Hannah Thomas

68.5 x 68.5 cm

Limited Edition of 30

Solstice, 2020 £150

James Bates

38 x 38cm

Limited Edition of 100