Exhibition: 12th September to 10th October 2008
Maddox Arts is proud to present the first London showing of Peter Griffin’s most recent body of work, all of which was completed between 2006 and 2008. The majority of the paintings were first exhibited in the Centro Cultural San Clemente in Toledo, Spain just over six months ago and are now joined by several new works specially created for this show.
For many years now Griffin’s work has been concerned with “What it means to be alive”. This wide-ranging subject deals with many differing factors including identity, love, mortality and oppression. The work in this show however, took on a very personal significance as a result of the artist suffering a sudden and near fatal heart attack on New Year’s Eve 2005 (from which he has since made a full recovery). Consequently the content of this present work deals specifically with two ideas ” The fragility of life” and “The wonder of Life”. In both cases the ideas are expressed through fusing the visual language with the subject matter so that the content grows out of the use of material as opposed to the material being used simply to illustrate the idea.
The paintings and mixed media work in this exhibition deal with ideas which at times are serious and at other times positively joyful. The weight of both personal experience and sentiment is clear throughout all of the pieces, yet the artist never allows them to indulge in sentimentality. They remain honest and compassionate expressions of human existence, played out in both abstract and figurative forms which allow for the viewer’s further personal interaction and understanding. Peter Griffin studied at Wakefield School of Art, Loughborough College of Art and The Royal College of Art (where he worked for a time in the studio of the surrealist Roberto Matta). Later he won the Prix De Rome scholarship which allowed him to live and work in Rome for two years.
Griffin has had many one person shows in galleries and museums around the world including his exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the establishing the European Commission For Human Rights in the European Council in Strasbourg and his “Sealed With Fire” exhibition which travelled to major venues in London, Buenos Aires, Concepcion, and Santiago, Chile. His work is to be found in many public and private collections throughout the world including The University of New South Wales, Sydney, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, The Ortega y Gasset Foundation, Madrid and Buenos Aires, The Salvador Allende Foundation, Santiago, Chile and The Pablo Neruda Foundation, Santiago, Chile.
Accompanying this exhibition will be a one hundred and fifty page publication depicting the paintings, people and places that have been part of Griffin’s life as an artist. The book will contain extended essays by the New York critic and curator Karen Wilkin, the late British critic and historian Norbert Lynton and aquestion and answer piece by the Times journalist Luke Leitch.