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Italian Angels - Bankside Gallery

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION of works by Anita Klein, Italian Angels, will be on display at Bankside Gallery from April 21 to May 4, 2009.

Each of the 52 paintings of angels celebrates the fleeting moments in life which most people overlook, things people have been doing for thousands of years. Some angels, for example the Angel of the Snow and the Angel of the Rain, are huge, towering over mountains and watching over whole towns. Others, like the Angel of the Strawberries are tiny, hiding cheekily under leaves or sitting amongst the flowers.

However, all the angels, whatever they represent, have been drawn on paper of the same size and dimensions, and have been painted with acrylic, a departure from Klein’s usual choice of oil paints.

In 2006, Klein began working in a studio in Anghiari in Tuscany and she was captivated by the agricultural and domestic cycles of this small Italian town. Klein’s work has always been a celebration of the aspects that we repeat over and over again in our lives – a cup of tea in the afternoon, chopping an onion, watching EastEnders – therefore living in a place where ritual and tradition merge seamlessly into everyday life was a confirmation of everything her work has always rejoiced in.

Klein’s daughter writes: ‘What these pictures do, is to make us conscious of these moments, to make us stop and think about how each one feels, or about what each one means. But what’s amazing about this particular series of paintings is that each one would make someone smile whether they were from the year 1200, or the year 3000. They are not of fashions, or fads, or things we will look back on and cringe, but rather of things that people have always, and will always, enjoy or relate to. And for that, they are truly timeless’.

Times: 11am to 6pm.

Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street, London, SE1 9JH (next to Tate Modern).

Tel: 020 7928 7521