Peer Gallery and The Estorick Collection reopen with intriguing shows
- Credit: Archant
Futurist Tullio Crali’s stunning aeropainting and Alex Urie’s textured canvases offer a feast for the eyes of art-lovers emerging from lockdown
If you’ve yearned to see art in the flesh during lockdown then the reopening of two local galleries will offer a feast for the eyes.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian art in Canonbury opens its doors again on July 15 after a four month closure.
Admission is restricted to eight pre-booked ticket holders in timed slots who can enjoy the permanent collection, which includes a core of Futurist works.
Indeed, Tullio Crali: A Futurist Life, which opened in January, has been now been extended to August 30.
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Entry will be contactless, with floor arrows guiding visitors around the one way system and continuous cleaning throughout the day.
A Futurist Life features more than 60 rarely seen pieces from Crali’s family collection, dating from the 1920s to the 1980s.
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Born in 1910, Crali is known for powerful imagery inspired by the modern world, technology and the machine. Although he experimented with fashion, theatre, and graphic design, he found his niche in the Futurist inter-war genre of ‘aeropainting’ which aimed to show the vertiginous, topsy-turvy experience of flying.
Several of his figurative, abstract works in the exhibition capture what he called “the immense visual and sensory drama of flight”.
In the 1940s, he accompanied pilots on combat and reconnaissance missions creating work for official art programmes under Mussolini’s regime for which he was criticized. But in 1945 while running avant-garde cultural events in Gorizia, the occupying Nazi authorities identified him as subversive and earmarked him for deportation. Tipped off by a friend, he was then imprisoned by Tito’s militia before being liberated by American troops.
Small wonder that he moved to Piedmont and took up painting works inspired by nature, that adhered to futurist aesthetics.
He said: “My art changed form, but not substance. A lack of faith in mankind leads me to turn my attention to nature. I search out serenity in everything; I try to discover the movements of nature and to express its vitality. It is the Futurist principle of ‘universal dynamism’ that is striving to take form.”
Meanwhile Peer in Hoxton reopens on July 16 with a show by British Painter Alex Urie.
There’s no need to book but only three people will be allowed in the gallery at a time, children must be supervised, and visitors should wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser.
Urie’s Silo runs until August 29 and features large scale paintings created by brushing, pouring, and flooding tinted household paint on to untreated canvas, linen or jute. Working on the reverse side of the artwork he then flips it over to reveal a residual sometimes unforeseen image.
Urie works on both sides while the paint is still wet, building layers of colour and texture and adding graphic elements including personal photographs and random online imagery including from Trip Advisor and YouTube.
He says, “I approach these canvases like salvaged grounds… Although the work is process driven, I continue to question how these paintings might function like errant narrative paintings, how they are tied to location, or might begin to be quite instructional or diagrammatic.”
Peer is open Wednesday to Saturday 12-6. 97 and 99 Hoxton Street N1. peeruk.org