Christopher Le Brun’s paintings are imbued with a sense of mystery and reverie, which reflect the Romantic tradition and his interest in history, myth and symbolism. Le Brun regards himself as a ‘visionary painter after Turner or Blake’ and he has been described as ‘the Watteau of the new expressionism.’ In a series of new paintings made for the New Art Centre, Le Brun explores magical landscapes of fiction, fairytales and of mythology that cannot be pinned down to a specific moment in time or place. The motifs in the works – the horse, the tower, the mountain and the tree – are universal, making them seem historic but also ageless at the same time.
Alongside the new landscape paintings is a large and striking depiction of a Pegasus-like horse above a brilliant rising sun. However this exhibition also considers Le Brun the sculptor as well as the painter, hence a series of small, abstract sculptures in bronze are shown in the gallery and the third and last cast of his large bronze sculpture ‘Union (Horse with Two Discs)’ is installed in the park. Exploring the relationship between the two art forms, one sees that Le Brun conceives his sculptures from a single viewpoint land that they are composed and improvised like a painting. Likewise, one senses Le Brun’s enjoyment of colour and touch when looking at both the paintings and the sculptures.
‘Union (Horse with Two Discs)’ was originally exhibited at the New Art Centre in 2001, and casts subsequently entered a private collection and the Museum of London. Other collections with holdings of Christopher Le Brun’s works include Tate, The British Museum, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Christopher Le Brun has also exhibited in many significant surveys of international art, including Nuova Immagine, Milan in 1981, Zeitgeist, Berlin in 1982, Avant-garde in the Eighties, Los Angeles in 1987, Contemporary Voices, Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2005, and Christopher Le Brun at The New Art Gallery, Walsall, in 2008. Two major commissions will be unveiled in 2011.