Stephen Rose renews the art of the Old Masters; behind his still life paintings you can see the work of the 18th century painter Chardin, the Spanish Baroque artists Velasquez and Juan Sanchez Cotán and the Dutch flower painter Rachel Ruysch, all of which he makes for a 21st century audience.

 

His portraits take the spirit of Frans Hals and the élan of Augustus John.

His landscapes breathe the air of Richard Parkes Bonnington.

 

His hungry eye observes the detritus of contemporary life - the ephemera of supermarket carrier bags, plastic boxes and foil trays are elevated to the status of the silver charger and precious glass of a 17th century still life.

 

This is a timeless and witty art, which imbues objects with gravitas and grace, lifting them out of the mundane, giving fruit and vegetables an heroic presence, filling a snowscape at Shoreham with the brooding significance of Bruegel. At the same time these are supremely decorative, almost tactile pieces, rejoicing in colour, the texture of paint, and the tooth of canvas.

 

 

© Stephen Rose 2017