The Wick - Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930

Discover Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930

Although Piet Mondrian is best known today for his abstract compositions featuring rectangles of primary colours, neutrals of white, black and grey and thick black horizontal and vertical lines, he began by painting representational pictures of landscapes and trees. It was not until after the First World War, when he was in his 40s, that Mondrian rejected naturalistic painting to develop the highly distilled pictoral language which he called Neo-Plasticism. ‘Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and colour and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture,’ he once said. Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow (1930) brilliantly illustrates Mondrian’s pioneering aesthetic of balance, order and purity, which later influenced celebrated artists, architects and fashion designers including Lola Prusac and Yves Saint Laurent.
The Wick - Jadé-Fadojutimi An Empathic Revolution 2022

Discover Jadé Fadojutimi, An Empathetic Revolution (2022)

Jadé Fadojutimi is hot property. Her gloriously colourful paintings fusing abstract and figurative elements have fetched seven-figure sums at auction and are highly prised by contemporary collectors around the world. Her work’s even been acquired by the Tate. Often made in bursts of energetic mark-making, her large-scale compositions reference a range of sources and experiences from personal memories to anime, politics and popular culture. An Empathetic Revolution (2022), inspired by feelings of displacement, was made for her solo show at the Hepworth Wakefield. Typical of Fadojutimi’s raw and lively style, it features bright reds, pinks and oranges, and a dizzying web of marks that captivate the gaze.
The Wick - Amy Sherald, He was meant for all things to meet 2022 Oil on linen 137.5 x 109.4 x 6.4 cm / 54 1/8 x 43 1/8 x 2 1/2 inches © Amy Sherald Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Photo: Joseph Hyde

Discover Amy Sherald He was meant for all things to meet

Amy Sherald is having a moment. The American painter rose to celebrity in 2018 with her official portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama and later cemented her reputation with her lauded posthumous depiction of Breonna Taylor, the hospital worker who was shot and killed in 2020 by police officers who forced entry into her apartment. Now, in her first solo show in Europe, Sherald unveils a new suite of paintings of Black Americans. ‘My mission as an artist [is] to put more complex stories of Black life in the forefront of people’s minds,’ she has said. Among the works on display is this painting of a man in a green jumper with the number 22 on it. He is not shaped to be an athlete, but his confident stance and gaze draws you in, prompting you to wonder about his interior life, hopes and dreams.
The Wick - What is the best way to be happy Charlie Mackesy is a drawing by Charlie mackesy

Discover Charlie Mackesy, What is the best way to be happy

It’s hard to think of a British artist of more touching scenes than Charlie Mackesy. His endearing drawings of four unlikely friends, the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse, accompanied by life-affirming words and phrases, have earned him an adoring public the world over. Many have sought comfort and solace in his uplifting messages of love and friendship. But why does his work resonate so widely? ‘The world is complicated and quite frightening and there is a simplicity to it perhaps,’ he has said. Added to this is his refreshing outlook on what constitutes success. ‘To me the [greatest] achievement is to love and be kind. It’s so rarely seen as success, but I think it is.’ This gorgeous illustration is testament to Mackesy’s heart-warming vision. Share or save immediately.
The Wick - James Turrell x Lalique Range Rider Purple Sage 2022, edition of 100.

Discover James Turrell x Lalique

Think of James Turrell and immersive light installations are likely to be the first things that spring to mind. For over 50 years, the American artist has made mesmerising light works that challenge the limits and wonder of human perception. In 2022 Turrell unveiled his first small-scale pieces, conceived in partnership with Lalique. The collaboration consists of 42 crystal light panels, inspired by an image of the artist’s Aten Reign installation at the Guggenheim in 2013, and two handmade crystal perfume bottles, each in a limited edition of 100. The prismatic bottles, inspired by ancient Egyptian architecture and the stupa shapes found in Asia, diffuse and diffract the light, showcasing the shine of the colour-saturated crystal. Turrell also co-created the two scents. ‘Creating a perfume is a bit like creating a world you have known,’ Turrell said. ‘Like René Lalique, I seek light and will continue to seek it.’
Head of a Man , 1960 © Estate of Francis Bacon. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2022
Courtesy Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia

Discover Francis Bacon, Head of a Man, 1960

The 1960s saw Francis Bacon focus on portraiture. He painted close friends and lovers including Henrietta Moraes, Isabel Rawsthorne, Lucian Freud and George Dyer. Unlike Freud, however, Bacon did not like to paint from life, explaining that ‘I very much prefer working from the photographs than from them.’ This painting from 1960 is thought to be a self-portrait. He is seated, as in earlier self-portraits, but his facial expression here ‘combines a slightly wary wistfulness with an almost jaunty nonchalance.’ The artist’s relationship with self-portraiture was, it turns out, a complex one. ‘I loathe my own face, but I go on painting it only because I haven’t got any other people to do,’ he told the art critic David Sylvester. Head of a Man is on display in Friends and Relations at Gagosian Grosvenor Hill until 28 January 2023.
The Wick - Chantal Joffe, Brunette in a Car, 2013

Discover Chantal Joffe, Brunette in a Car, 2013

Models, porn actresses, mothers and children, loved ones and literary heroines populate the emotionally probing paintings of Chantal Joffe. Her female subjects are painted in a loosely gestural and expressive style and are influenced by a diverse range of sources, from Impressionism to fashion photography. As important as her subject, however, is the paint itself: Joffe’s drips, marks and broad, fluid brushstrokes imbue her protagonists with a captivating dynamism that make it hard to look away. Then there’s her experimentations with scale. Her intimate and large-scale canvases such as Brunette in a Car heighten complex narratives about intimacy, connection, perception and representation, prompting us to question the relationship between artist and subject, subject and viewer.
The Wick - Hernan Bas, The party is over, 2016

Discover Hernan Bas, The party is over, 2016

Although Hernan Bas draws on a range of art historical references, from the supernatural to classical poetry, mythology and 19th-century Romanticism, his visual language is distinctly his own. For the past two decades, he has constructed vast otherworldly landscapes and captivating interior scenes brimming with colourful objects, curiosities and oddities that make his waifish male protagonists feel ponderous and alone.

His pictures, spanning a wide range of time periods and subjects, address themes of queerness, masculinity and desire as well as politics, news and the occult. ‘I like to put a spotlight on the obscure,’ he once told Artsy. In this 2016 painting, Bas depicts two young men unsure how best to confront the morning after the party. Despite their physical proximity to one another, there’s a distance and tension between them. As they gaze in opposite directions, a sense of awkwardness pervades the canvas, prompting the viewer to wonder what's next.
The Wick - Jenny Saville, Odysseus I, 2020-21

Discover Jenny Saville, Odysseus I, 2020-21

Coming to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Jenny Saville is internationally respected for her sumptuous portraits of fleshy bodies, female nudes and studies of motherhood. She has been captivated by the ‘imperfections’ of human flesh since childhood and has explored its potential in paint for more than twenty years. Though progressive in form and outlook, her work reveals a deep understanding of how the body has been represented in the past, from Renaissance drawing and painting to the work of modern artists such as Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning and Picasso. In a recent series of large-scale faces executed in dense layers of jewel coloured paint, young men and women with intense gazes look at us from unattainable heights. But these faces, which include Odysseus I, are far more than their physicality. They radiate, says Sergio Risaliti, director of the Museo Novecento in Florence, ‘a pure solar energy, convincing us of the idea that we are infinite.’