Varvara Roza Galleries, exclusive representative of British post-war and contemporary artist Winston Branch, in collaboration with The Blender Gallery, proudly announce a major solo exhibition by Winston Branch “The sweet scent of Magnolia”. In his exhibition “The sweet scent of magnolia”, Winston Branch will present his new body of work, consisting of large-scale canvases painted in his London studio during a prolific period in 2023.
Winston Branch: “I don’t know what the paint is going to do, that’s the magic of it, that’s the dance. I take the paint, I put it down on the canvas. I move the paint with large gestures. These are my preoccupations. When I come to do what I do. I don’t think about anybody. I think about what I’m doing. It’s a combination of years of discovering myself, and reinventing myself, and not trying to be repetitious. Each painting must be fresh. The whole thing is about trying to have clarity and fluidity.”
In his exhibition “The sweet scent of magnolia”, Winston Branch will present his new body of work, consisting of large-scale canvases painted in his London studio during a prolific period in 2023. His preoccupation as an artist has been the re-examination of finding a more palatable means of expression. The excitement with which his paintings have developed over the years, has always been to explore the magic of paint: The way a total amorphous substance is transformed into an illusionary subject. It is the sensuality of the pigment of the paint that has captivated his inner voice.
At the age of 76, Branch shows no signs of slowing down, and remains as dedicated as ever to his craft. Recent exhibitions include; the Royal Academy of Arts Summer exhibition 2023; “Jasmines Blowing in the wind” at Simon Lee Gallery ‘Fragments of Light’ at Cedric Bardawill in 2023; and a group exhibition at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester in 2022.
In 2018, the Tate Collection acquired ‘Zachary II’ (1982), a stunning abstract work with a powdery blue and sandy pink palette, which the Tate compared to a Monet. ‘Zachary II’, is part of a series of eight paintings Branch made when he was living in London in the early 1980s, another of which, ‘The Magic is in You’ (1982-84) was sold in 20th/21st Century London Evening Sale at Christie’s on 13 October 2023 for £240.000.00, more than twice its estimate. Branch’s abstract paintings are noted for their mesmerizing and highly emotive surfaces, conjured from the interplay of bright colours that form an entangled web of rich pigment characterized as ‘bewitching canvases’, as his abstract paintings have a bewitching intensity drawn from the subconscious.
He begins with an emotion and paints as many canvases as it takes until that feeling is fulfilled. He took Monet’s ‘Waterlilies’ and melted them into glorious, shimmering colour that evoked unfathomable depths. He conveyed the rhythms of nature in thickly layered patches of powdery acrylic.
Tate acquisition cemented Branch’s legacy, and record sales of his paintings at auction reinforce the significance of his contribution to the art historical canon. Branch, After living and working in London, Rome, Berlin, California, the Caribbean and New York where he developed a fluid, confident style of abstraction, Branch resettled in London, from where, he states , ‘I want to write my name on the ledger of British culture’. He recounts a meeting with former Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota at a party when: ‘I told him it was my time, and he agreed.
Winston Branch is a prominent British artist originally from Saint Lucia. He was born in Castries, Saint Lucia, where he attended a Catholic school. In the 1960’s, at the age of 12, was sent to London where he studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts UCL. Branch was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Berlin Artist programme in Berlin (DAAD), a fellowship in Belize from Organization of American States and was Artist in Residence at Fisk University in Tennessee. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Greenwich, London.
Varvara Roza Galleries is delighted to exclusively represent the artworks by the acclaimed artist Winston Branch. Varvara Roza Galleries is an Executive Arts Gallery and Advisory Firm promoting overseas artists and Greece’s brightest artists worldwide and is committed to cultural leadership. The CEO of Varvara Roza Galleries is Varvara Roza.
Winston Branch “The Sweet Scent of Magnolia” is at Varvara Roza Galleries, Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6BN from 21 st November to 19th December, 2023: http://www.varvararozagalleries.com