JEFFERY CAMP :: A VISIONARY
Paintings, Drawings and Words from his books PAINT and ALMANAC
8 September – 20 October, 2023
Exhibition Catalogue with an essay by Barry Schwabsky: view online
Along with his life as a painter Jeffery Camp illustrated and wrote three remarkable books. DRAW was the first, which took him three years to write. It was published in 1981 and was followed by PAINT in 1996. They were filled with reproductions of his own and others’ work and accompanied by a compelling commentary that enhanced and extended the visual ideas.
The third book, ALMANAC (2010), is an engrossing pictorial autobiography that examines Jeffery’s life, art and friendships. The result of a three-year collaboration between Oya at Art Space Gallery and Jeffery it runs to nearly five hundred images and is again illuminated by wonderous, often poetic, verbal insights into his life, his work and his imagination.
Richard Morphet has written that “Jeffery Camp was a singular painter whose work is visionary, not in a religious sense but in the intensity of his response to nature, to place and especially to the vitality of human presence and relationships.” The bringing together of both images and words in this publication and the exhibition it accompanies is our way of sharing the visionary nature of Jeffery’s creative life and offer a vivid and lasting sense of what he cared about.
The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition has an essay by Barry Schwabsky who, in 2016 offered Jeffery the limelight of inclusion in his seminal Tight Rope exhibition at White Cube alongside Matisse, Picasso, Freud, Caulfield and many more Modern masters where a new and young generation of painters discovered his originality.
Jeffery Camp was born near Lowestoft (1923) and attended local art schools before studying at Edinburgh College of Art 1941-44, where one of his teachers was William Gillies, for whose work he had lasting admiration. He painted increasingly peopled Suffolk land-and shorescapes before moving to London, where his first one-man exhibition was at Helen Lessore’s Beaux Arts Gallery in 1959. He married Laetitia Yhap in 1963 and they moved to Hastings. They later separated, Jeffery living wholly in South London from 1981.
Jeffery taught at the Slade School in London 1963-88. He had numerous solo exhibitions, latterly at Art Space Gallery, which issued several publications and a film. He had retrospective exhibitions at South London Art Gallery in 1973 and the Serpentine Gallery in 1978. A national touring exhibition in 1988-89 included the Royal Academy, of which he became a member in 1984 [ARA 1974]. He had a 90th birthday exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings in 2013. Jeffery remained highly active until becoming disabled in 2016. He died in April 2020.
A 64 page catalogue with 42 colour illustrations
and an essay by Barry Schwabsky
View the Book: ALMANAC online
PAINT, published by Dorling Kindersley, 1996, ISBN 7513 02112
ALMANAC, published jointly by Royal Academy of Arts and Art Space Gallery, 2010, ISBN 978-1-905711-64-2
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm
'A VISIONARY' Jeffery Camp :: Paintings, Drawings and Words from Books PAINT and ALMANAC press release