Guy Denning: Paradiso - Signal Gallery
SIGNAL Gallery is showing the work of the much loved and respected Bristol artist, Guy Denning, in his first London solo show for two years.
Entitled Paradiso, it is the final part of his trilogy of exhibitions interpreting Dante’s The Divine Comedy and will be on display to the public from October 5 to October 27, 2012.
Inferno and Purgatorio, the first and second parts of the trilogy, were shown in Bologna and New York with great success.
In Paradiso, Denning has created a series of works that use highly individual visual imagery to depict the ecstatic route to a place of resolution and rest (for Dante the route to heaven).
He is intrigued by how the moral ambiguities of the world we live in, with it’s emphasis on glorifying the here and now, finds resonances with the unshakeable medieval belief in the existence of life after death. Like Dante, Denning draws on contemporary political concerns to illustrate his vision.
Part of the exhibition is inspired by Beatrice, Dante’s long dead love, who is the central figure in the poem and who symbolises feminine purity and vulnerability. To represent this aspect of Paradiso, Denning has painted a series of delicate portraits of famous women from the recent past, who died young and who have found immortality in their enduring youth.
Denning has been an artist all his adult life and in 2007, he moved from Bristol to rural Brittany to concentrate fulltime on his painting. The artistic freedom this move has given him has contributed greatly to the intense and consistently beautiful work that he has produced in this period; quite simply it has raised his art to a whole new level.
His belief in the importance of drawing skills is the foundation of all his work. He uses traditional painting methods of building up work from underlying sketches, mostly from life and often using his friends as models.
Denning’s painting, mainly oil on canvas, is approached with an intellectual rigour, which is always directed towards a truthful interpretation of the world as he sees it. He is a unique artist in his technique, manner and choice of subject matter and this is at its best in his modern representation of Dante’s 14th century world.
Signal Gallery, 32 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4LB