Neil Stokoe at Saatchi Yates January 17th – February 25th 2024 Saatchi Yates 14 Bury Street St James’s, London SW1Y 6AL
Saatchi Yates is proud to present a solo exhibition by Neil Stokoe (1935-2019), the first posthumous display of works painted between the 1960s and the 1990s. Following the gallery’s successful summer exhibitionBathers, which included Neil Stokoe’s, Floating Figure II, Saatchi Yates is now representing the artist’s estate and will work with his family to bring his remarkable paintings to a wider audience.
Stokoe has long been seen as the hidden giant of the ‘Golden Circle’ at the RCA. with David Hockney, Frank Bowling R.B.Kitaj, Allen Jones, and Patrick Caulfield among his contemporaries. Despite the encouragement of his close friend Francis Bacon to exhibit his paintings, he avoided the vibrant London art world of the 60’s – leaving him largely unknown today. Only after retirement in 2002 did Stokoe first reveal any of his work. He lived a solitary, reclusive life and worked intensively for decades in his west London studio home without any inclination to exhibit.
This exhibition will be Stokoe’s first solo show since his passing in 2019. Featuring fourteen major paintings from his estate, some of which have never been on display, this exhibition captures the essence and evolution of Stokoe’s work across multiple decades. Showcasing Stokoe’s invigorating style which transcends time, many of the paintings demonstrate a psychologically charged interior space representing the style of the 1960s and 1970s. Stokoe’s depictions of interiors were often inspired by his favourite architect Richard Meier, captured in lush oil on canvas.
His work from the 1980s and 1990s is progressively more experimental, with gestural paintwork featuring clean, graphic lines and the sharp, bright hues of Pop Art as seen in his painting Spiral Staircase with Two Figures. Similar subjects and motifs from his earlier works are present in the pieces from this period, clearly influenced by his exploration of landscape architecture from his formative years.
Jack Stokoe (Neil Stokoe’s son) says: “Neil created a unique, individual body of figurative painting, which came out of the familiar RCA milieu but was cultivated in comparative darkness, obscurity and relative isolation from subsequent trends and fashions. He felt that this enabled him to exact a high level of quality control concerning what he preserved for the world to see, and that it afforded him a certain protection from anything contingent or superficial going on in the art world. As a consequence, it is only now posthumously, that his work is beginning to receive the acknowledgement and acclaim it deserves.”
Neil Stokoe at Saatchi Yates opens on of January 17th until the February 25th 2024
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