Clive Hicks-Jenkins

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Clive Hicks-Jenkins
A painting of an annunciation showing a red angel Gabriel and a pale Mary turning away, with goldfinches flying around her.
The Virgin of the Goldfinches (2009), Contemporary Art Society for Wales, Llandaff Cathedral
Born (1951-06-11) 11 June 1951 (age 64)
Newport, south Wales
Nationality British
Education Italia Conti School
Known for Painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, maquettes, animation, artist’s books
Notable work Christ Writes in the Dust, The Virgin of the Goldfinches, The Barbarian Brought Down by a Lioness
Awards Gulbenkian Welsh Art Prize
Website www.hicks-jenkins.com
Elected The Welsh Group, 56 Group Wales, Royal Cambrian Academy

Clive Hicks-Jenkins (born 1951) is a British artist known especially for narrative paintings and artist’s books. His paintings are represented in all the main public collections in Wales, as well as others in the United Kingdom, and his artist’s books are found in libraries internationally. A retrospective exhibition comprising some 200 works from across the artist's career loaned from public and private collections was held by the National Library of Wales in 2011 to coincide with his sixtieth birthday.[1] A substantial multi-author book devoted to his work was published by Lund Humphries in 2011, in which Simon Callow called him ‘one of the most individual and complete artists of our time'.[2]

Biography[edit]

Clive Hicks-Jenkins was born in Newport, south Wales, in 1951. His father worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board and his mother was a hairdresser. He attended Hartridge Comprehensive School in Newport but was unhappy there and at the age of twelve he moved to the Italia Conti school in London, where he studied theatre, worked as an actor in films and television and took classes at the Rambert Ballet School. In the late 1960s he was a performer and puppeteer with Cardiff’s Caricature Theatre. During the 1970s and 1980s he worked as a choreographer, director and stage designer, creating productions with among others the Vienna Festival, the Almeida Theatre, Theatr Clwyd and Cardiff New Theatre, where he was Associate Director. Since the 1990s he has concentrated on his work as a visual artist.[3] He contributed a short autobiographical essay to a substantial monograph about his work, Clive Hicks-Jenkins by Simon Callow et al (Lund Humphries, 2011).[4]

He has had solo exhibitions at the Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff, Anthony Hepworth Fine Art in Bath, the Kilvert Gallery, Cardiff New Theatre, Oriel Theatr Clwyd, Newport Museum and Art Gallery, Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery, MOMA Wales, Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford, the National Library of Wales and Jersey Arts Centre. His work has been included in over 80 group exhibitions.[5][6]

He is an Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University School of Art and a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. He is a member of The Welsh Group[7] and 56 Group Wales. He has lived in London, Newport and Cardiff and currently lives near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.[8]

Painting[edit]

Clive Hicks-Jenkins works through the mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, maquettes, animation and artist’s books. Nicholas Usherwood in Galleries has described his work as ‘reflective, expressive painting of the highest order’.[9] Robert Macdonald wrote in Planet in 2002, 'Hicks-Jenkins has emerged in recent years as one of the most powerful figurative painters in Wales'.[10] Since 2010 the artist has discussed his methods in a regular 'Artlog' about his ongoing work.[11]

Sense of place plays an important role in his paintings, especially places in Wales, and he has been identified as influenced by British mid-twentieth neo-romanticism. Places appear not only in landscape paintings but as emotionally charged backdrops to still lifes and narrative works and as Andrew Green states, ‘he negotiates his way through his landscapes, inner and outer; working with the lie of the land to make new discoveries, build new connections.’[12]

He has become known for thematic series of works that explore the meanings of stories from various sources. The earliest of these was his series drawing on the experiences of his father as a small boy terrified by the Welsh folk tradition of the Mari Lwyd.[13] Another sequence of works titled the Temptations of Solitude examined present-day traumas and injustices through the lives of the desert fathers of Egypt.[14][15] Other series have been based on stories of saints and animals, such as St Kevin and the blackbird, Elijah and the raven,[16] Hervé and the wolf and St Francis preaching to the birds. Paintings based on stories from the Bible include an annunciation, now in Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff, and a painting of the woman taken in adultery, in the Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, Oxford Brookes University.[17]

Among reviewers who have noted links between his earlier theatrical work and his artistic imagination, Alison Lloyd wrote in Art Review, ‘His work is imbued with poise and balance, and the illusory strangeness of the stage’.[18]

Work in public collections[edit]

  • Amgueddfa Cymru / National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
  • Brecknock Museum Art Trust, Brecon
  • Contemporary Art Society for Wales
  • University of Glamorgan
  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
  • Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff
  • Oxford Brookes University, Methodist Church Collection of Modern Christian Art
  • Museum of Modern Art Wales, Machynlleth
  • National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
  • Neville Hall Hospital Trust, Abergavenny
  • Newport Museum & Art Gallery
  • Pallant House Art Gallery, Chichester
  • Swansea Metropolitan University[19][20]

Artist’s books and illustration[edit]

Hicks-Jenkins has had a working relationship since the mid 1990s with Nicolas and Frances McDowall of the Old Stile Press, a private press in Monmouthshire specialising in collaborations with artists. This resulted in five artist’s books between 1998 and 2009. Two were editions of the Elizabethan poet Richard Barnfield, The Affectionate Shepheard[21] and Sonnets. Two others were written by the contemporary poet Catriona Urquhart, Palmyra Jones and The Mare’s Tale.[22] The most recent is the first illustrated edition of Sir Peter Shaffer’s play Equus.[23]

His artist’s books are in museums and libraries including the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the National Library of Wales, the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, National Museum Wales, the University of Pennsylvania, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Winchester College and Auckland City Library.[19]

He has produced cover images and text decorations for commercially published books, such as Glimmerglass, Thaliad, Val/Orson and The Foliate Head by Marly Youmans. Poets have been drawn to respond to Hicks-Jenkins’ work, as discussed in an essay by Professor Damian Walford Davies.[24] An illustrated anthology was produced in 2011, The Book of Ystwyth: Six Poets on the Art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anne Price-Owen, 'Clive Hicks-Jenkins', Planet 203, August 2011, pp.48-61
  2. ^ Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9, p.17
  3. ^ 'Clive Hicks-Jenkins' in David Buckman, The Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945 (Bristol: Art Dictionaries, 1998) p.578
  4. ^ Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9 , pp.191-214
  5. ^ Roderic Dunnett, 'Clive Hicks-Jenkins: Prospects of Wales', The Independent, 21 September 2004
  6. ^ Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9, pp.231-3
  7. ^ http://www.thewelshgroup-art.com/#!clive-hicks-jenkins/c3g5
  8. ^ Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9
  9. ^ Usherwood, Nicholas, ‘Spiritual Concerns’, Galleries May 2004, p.27
  10. ^ Robert Macdonald, 'Clive Hicks-Jenkins and the Demon at the Gate', Planet, February 2002, pp.50-6.
  11. ^ Referred to as a source by several of the essay writers in Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9 , p.39
  12. ^ Andrew Green, 'The Place of Place' in Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9 , p.39
  13. ^ Barnie, John, Clive Hicks-Jenkins: The Mare’s Tale (2001: Newport Museum and Art Gallery)
  14. ^ Harley, Rex, Seamus Heaney, Clive Hicks-Jenkins and Michael Tooby, The Temptations of Solitude: Paintings by Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2004: Grey Mare Press)
  15. ^ Nicholas Cranfield, 'Re-interpreting Tales from the Desert', Church Times, 28 May 2004, p.36.
  16. ^ Potter P. And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Oct. doi:10.3201/eid1610.AC1610
  17. ^ Martin O'Kane and John Morgan-Guy (ads), Biblical Art from Wales (Sheffield Phoenix Press, Sheffield, 2010) ISBN 978-1-906055-67-7, pp.313-14, 394
  18. ^ Lloyd, Alison C., ‘Profile: Clive Hicks-Jenkins’, Art Review May 2001, p.48
  19. ^ a b Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9, p.229
  20. ^ BBC Your Paintings http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/hicks-jenkins-clive-b-1951
  21. ^ Jeremy Greenwood, 'Review: The Affectionate Shepheard, with Images by Clive Hicks-Jenkins', Parenthesis, September 1998, pp.22-3.
  22. ^ Harrop, Dorothy A., Frances McDowall, Nicolas McDowall and Peter Wakelin, The Old Stile Press in the Twentieth Century: A Bibliography 1979-1999 (2000: Old Stile Press)
  23. ^ Campbell, Nancy, Frances McDowall, Nicolas McDowall, The Old Stile Press... the Next Ten Years: A Bibliography 2000-2010 (2010: Old Stile Press) ISBN 978-0-907664-85-7
  24. ^ 'Furious Embrace: Clive Hicks-Jenkins Among the Poets', in Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9, pp.173-89
  25. ^ Bonta, Dave, Callum James, Andrea Selch, Catriona Urquhart, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, The Book of Ystwyth: Six Poets on the Art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Carolina Wren Press) ISBN 978-0-932112-89-7

Select bibliography[edit]

  • Barnie, John, Clive Hicks-Jenkins: The Mare’s Tale (2001: Newport Museum and Art Gallery)
  • Bonta, Dave, Callum James, Andrea Selch, Catriona Urquhart, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, The Book of Ystwyth: Six Poets on the Art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Carolina Wren Press) ISBN 978-0-932112-89-7
  • Callow, Simon, Andrew Green, Rex Harley, Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Kathe Koja, Anita Mills, Montserrat Prat, Jacqueline Thalmann, Damian Walford Davies and Marly Youmans, Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2011: Lund Humphries) ISBN 978-1-84822-082-9
  • Dunnett, Roderic, ‘Clive Hicks-Jenkins in Cardiff’, British Art Journal, volume V, no 3, 2004, p. 86
  • Harley, Rex, ‘Exhibitions: Clive Hicks-Jenkins’, Modern Painters Summer 2001, p. 104
  • Harley, Rex, Seamus Heaney, Clive Hicks-Jenkins and Michael Tooby, The Temptations of Solitude: Paintings by Clive Hicks-Jenkins (2004: Grey Mare Press)
  • Lloyd, Alison C., ‘Profile: Clive Hicks-Jenkins’, Art Review May 2001, p. 48

External links[edit]