Christopher Le Brun, painter, and president of the Royal Academy (RA) is set to exhibit a two-part show of new work, in the US next year. Christopher Le Brun: Composer, will be mounted at the Albertz Benda gallery in New York (2 March-15 April 2017) and at the Gallery at Windsor in Vero Beach, Florida (25 February-27 April 2017).
The 28 paintings on view will explore music and its relationship to his paintings. Richard Birchall the composer has written a piece to accompany one of the paintings by Le Brun. “Having had that experience, I remembered how important music is to me,” Le Brun said.
The artist uncovered a watercolour executed age 17 that is “almost a premonition of a painting I’ve just done, which will be in the exhibition in New York,” he says. The earlier work is a response to an opera by Debussy. “What was reassuring about finding it was to see the depth of what music has meant to my paintings”, he said.
Le Brun, explains; “ Looking is the experience he hopes to foster in the audiences”. “I’d like them to think there’s still an enormous amount to still be discovered in painting,” he says. “There is still a lot to do, and it’s still fresh.”
Born in Portsmouth and trained at the Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art in London, Le Brun first appeared in several group exhibitions, such as the influential Zeitgeist exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, and from 1980 onwards, in many solo exhibitions in Britain, Europe and America. He was a prizewinner at the John Moores Liverpool exhibitions in 1978 and 1980 and worked in Berlin during 1987-88 as the guest of the DAAD artist’s programme.
Between 1990 and 2003 he served as a trustee of the Tate and subsequently of the National Gallery, a period which saw his involvement in the radical developments of Tate at Bankside, Liverpool, and St. Ives as well as the master plan and redevelopment of the east wing of the National Gallery.
In recent years he has been a trustee of the Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Royal (formerly Prince’s) Drawing School, which he helped to establish in 2000. In the same year, he was elected Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy.
At a time when artists frequently use traditional modes or quotations in a spirit of irony, the repertoire of motifs with which his work is especially associated makes patent his strong attachment to the imagery and emotional address of Romanticism and Symbolism. His paintings ask us to attend not only to the compelling imagery he employs but also to the poetic and structural processes through which it is made visible.
He was elected President of the Royal Academy in December 2011. He is the 26th President since Sir Joshua Reynolds and the youngest to be elected since Lord Leighton in 1878.
Photo: Courtesy Of The Royal Academy 2016