Following the lockdown period, thankfully Henry Miller is able to accept visitors in his home gallery space again. Attendance is by appointment only and will be compliant with government advice on hygiene and social distancing. In the initial stage, Henry is limiting numbers to a maximum of two people per appointment. To mark the reopening Henry writes here about 5 artists of the male form from his collection.
5 artists of the male form from the collection
Depictions of the male form in art goes back centuries, as shown in our collection, which spans from the 17th Century to the present day.
Unsurprisingly, contemporary artists are still fascinated by the subject and are an important part of the collection. In this post, we highlight five artists, aged between 26 and 88, who, while part of a long tradition, create unique and personal work in the late 20th and 21st Century.
Felipe Chavez, Boy, (2019): Born in 1994, Chavez is a Colombian artist now based in London, who cites Egon Schiele and Francis Bacon as strong influences in his paintings. Working primarily in the medium of Indian Ink on paper, he often uses his own body to explore the male form and its relationship with sexuality and space as a gay man, constantly experimenting with the concept of the nude and of the self portrait.
Tom Merrifield, (British b.1932), Male Swimmer, 1990, ink and watercolour on paper, signed and titled (lower middle), 30cm x 24cm (50cm x 43cm framed), £950
Tom Merrifield, Male Swimmer, (1990): Originally from Australia, Merrifield is a London-based artist working from his studio in Hampstead. Born in 1932, he moved to the UK in 1956 where he had a successful career as a dancer before finally leaving the stage to focus on his art. An internationally acclaimed sculptor, he is most famous for his portrayals of dancers and athletes whom he always sketches and sculpts from life.
Ronald Bowen, Jeune Homme nu Assis, (1981): Born in Soth Carolina in 1944, Bowen moved to Paris in 1970 where he still lives and paints from his studio in Montmartre, overlooking the city’s rooftops. An artist of international renown, his works are mesmerizing, both in their qualities and technical ability. Bowen is known for his expertly rendered fragments of reality, inspired in part by the upsurge of the American Photorealist movement of the 1970s but even more deeply by a desire to apply the style and techniques of the Italian Renaissance painters to his own everyday environment. Something which is not readily apparent in reproduction, and needs to be emphasised in case missed, is this is a pencil drawing of epic proportions, measuring 137cm x 108cm.
Eileen Healy, Male Nude, (1995): Healy is an award-winning Irish figurative artist working mainly in pastel and oil, and always from life at her studio in Cork. While she paints both men and women, her male nudes are often seen from the back or looking away from the viewer (as in the case of the sketches in the collection), capturing intimate moments and the sometimes hidden vulnerability of the masculine body. “Drawing from life is for me a way of life and the backbone of my work. It keeps my work alive.”
Ian Cook (Scottish b.1951), Torso 7, 2018, acrylic on paper, signed (lower right), 78 cm x 55cm, framed, £1,950
Ian Cook, Torso 7, (2018): Born in Paisley in 1951, Cook graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1972. Still based in Scotland, he has exhibited extensively across the UK and Europe ever since. After two travelling scholarships to Spain and Africa he focused primarily on indigenous subject matter. Many of his works are sourced from Latin American, African and European mythology and folklore. Cook’s work, especially with regards to the colour palette and mood of his large and colourful graphic muscular male nudes such as this one, is reminiscent of artists like Picasso, Matisse and Kandinsky as well as the models from 1950’s physique pictorial magazines.