Alex Uxbridge had already enjoyed a successful career in art publishing before he entered the Byam Shaw School of Art in his late thirties. Since graduating in the early 1990s he has painted and exhibited professionally without break and we are delighted to introduce his new work to our collectors at Panter & Hall.
This series of paintings is his most accomplished to date. They demonstrate an artist at the height of his powers, confident of his talent and at ease with his subjects. Alex takes the viewer on a journey, juxtaposing the wintry green landscapes of North Wales with a summer spent at an easel in the south of France, Italy and Spain.
Having grown up in Anglesey at his ancestral home, Plas Newydd, his Welsh roots run deep. His paintings of the area have a Welshness about them though, very far removed from the palette knife of Kyffin Williams that has so come to define and dominate the national style. He still works from a remote cottage on the island and the few Snowdonia paintings in this collection beautifully capture the majesty and isolation of the mountain passes.
As with many British painters before him, Alex regularly takes that well-trodden path to the Mediterranean countries and the extraordinary light they offer. By contrast, his paintings there are lit up with the evident pleasure he derives from the area. His brushstrokes lighten along with his palette, and his style adopts a post-impressionism reminiscent of the later Bloomsbury works. These paintings are gentle, light of touch, beautifully composed, and infused with a poetic lyricism that belies the confidence of their construction.
So many painters have sought out the Mediterranean light over the last century or so, the draw of the sun-drenched olive groves and terracotta roofs has seduced thousands from the impressionists onwards. Alex’s paintings are certainly deeply embedded in this line and I think he stands as worthy an heir to that tradition as anyone painting there today.
Away from the heat of the day, some of Alex’s finest paintings are of the various interiors he visits on his travels. The empty kitchens and bedroom views, seen through a tall shutter or a garden door, have a contemplative quality. Human absence adds to the sense of each room’s abandonment, a peaceful refuge from the midday sun awaiting a new arrival. These delightful, restful paintings have an intimist quality that evokes the later works of Bonnard.
In all a very enjoyable collection of paintings from an artist who clearly relishes the challenge of committing a subject to canvas and has the talent and experience to pull it off.