Inaugural Exhbition

10 May-11 Jun 2022

Benjamin Rhodes Arts
London E2 7HP


CK and I were drawn to the gestural and expressionistic force which is very visible. With an originally RCA background, Crawford’s home is now Vienna and there has been an extensive exhibiting programme – new work showing here reveals shifted sensibilities with wry and acute observation.

Buttercup was part of the exhibition that Laura had with us in 1990 and radiates the mischief, not without admonitory intent, which was and still is a big part of what she does. I happily managed to acquire Stumpy over a decade later and it looks back to that era whilst also hinting at the outdoors – such an element of her current wry and brilliant animal-humanoid investigations in sculpture and installations. Laura recently became President of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

CK and I purchased this polygonal work‘ Small Hours‘ for ourselves in 1981 and I have shown Michael’s paintings and works on paper over quite some time since the 1985 opening at New Burlington Place. He carries the badge of being an ‘original’ Lisson artist and has created several public space commissions over the years. His practice continues using simple motifs to explore the language of abstraction and gesture.

We saw Webb at the Royal College in 1986 and began to show his narrative/landscape works to a wide audience. I remember paintings about Mozart’s operas and the Bible, then came a series of imaginary portraits of Conan Doyle characters. His studio practice continues a landscape tendency and incorporates abstract space and construction towards addressing universally human themes. He recently won the Sunny Art Prize, has completed a project on Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost ‘, achieved a residency place at the Albers Foundation for this summer and is making new things at a new studio in Plymouth.

I clearly remember being shown these loose on the floor of Hester van Royen in Walton Street …. I don’t think I was visiting because of them but was completely drawn in and made the purchase before they went to framing and then on to an Arts Council show at Kettles Yard with some involvement from the wonderful David Brown. Fred Mann and I gave Milow an exhibition in the previously Greenwood space at New Burlington Street in 1998.

I met Sandle through the Gillian Jason partnership. Jason & Rhodes hosted a brilliant show of sculpture and drawings in 1995. I have always been beguiled by his authenticity, historical certainty and esoteric brilliance. The bravura of Queen of the Night speaks for itself. His continuing work is unflinching, universally relevant and respectfully understood. The Valetta Harbour WW2 Memorial remains an enormously significant part of Sandle’s work and is a key European site. This 1991 study towards it has a deserved exhibition history.

CK and I visited Williams in residence at South Hill Park near Reading in 1985 and were confronted with giant paint-encrusted canvases of car windows, construction-site machinery and vehicles. These felt fresh, uncontrived and quite a statement. There followed several exhibitions shifting in focus to the anonymous goings-on at the piers, promenades and beaches of his North Wales coast. The paint became less physical, the subjects more metaphysical and more knowing as they still are.