Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.
— Short Introduction by Charles Nodrum
The severely reductive abstraction of the 1960s which led towards minimalism and the monochrome was often accompanied by strict guidelines as to how these works should be seen: what you saw was what you got, no more and no less, and further readings and interpretations were seen as disturbing the purely formal assessment then deemed paramount.
Paradoxically, the more rigorous the demands became, the more persistently these extraneous readings multiplied: like it or not, these works were tweaking some new (seemingly metaphysical) nerves and, miraculously, mysteriously (and almost mystically) you got more than what you saw. Just what this extra something was has remained shrouded in a fog of question marks and will probably continue to as long as such works are seen as exclusively material objects.
The monochrome has taken an increasingly significant role in Brian Blanchflower’s later work, though the chromatic range is wide. In this show we have, mostly, black, yellow, red and blue (partly, I suspect, from my personal, and nearly subliminal, preference for primaries) yet he also regularly explores more sombre secondaries. They are also enticingly tactile and it is just this “thinginess” that sets us looking and seems to trigger just those impressions of something ultra-physical at work. This in turn brings up a second paradox: the more overtly and emphatically material they are, the more powerfully they seem to emanate an aura of something transcending the thing itself.
On a practical level, all this tends to get lost in illustration (be it on line or on paper) and in spite of earnest and sensitive work from the photographers it is a leap that can never quite be made.
These paintings therefore must be seen raw.
Brian would like to dedicate this exhibition to the memory of the artist Bob Brighton, 1936 - 2017.
The English artist Bob Brighton was a long-time friend - of 56 years. He died in January in Worthing, West Sussex, U.K.