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Divining the Human

The Art of Alexander Newley
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Spanning the worlds of Portraiture, Landscape, The Nude, Abstraction and Still Life, Alexander Newley's project fuses the Fine Art traditions of patient observation and draughtsmanship with the transcendental intuitions of the mystic. 'For me, art is a moral activity,' he says, 'a straining after the highest virtue of beauty and enlarged consciousness. As such, all art is essentially religious, even when it shows us the ugliness of a fallen world.' No contemporary portraitist has more completely captured the inner life of his subjects-or told us more about the fascinating intersection of the observable and invisible worlds. Whether his subject is a city street, a painter's table, a child's face, or a matrix of abstract forms, there is a unifying and revelatory logic to his perception that is unique. Complementing the images is Newley's personal reminiscence, placing each work in a fascinating narrative of self-becoming-and an often-dogged determination to stay true to his calling. The result is a unique account of an artist's journey in his own words, firmly setting before us a body of work that continues to evolve and explore, always affirming a uniquely 'human' future.
ALEXANDER NEWLEY is a leading contemporary artist, writer and teacher known on both sides of the Atlantic for his iconic portrait paintings of major figures in the Arts including Gore Vidal, Billy Wilder, Christopher Reeve, Oliver Stone and Steven Berkoff. His work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery and The Smithsonian in Washington DC. He has collaborated with the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company to produce theatrical portraits of Dame Judi Dench, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Sir Derek Jacobi. The Garrick Club has given his portrait of David Suchet pride of place in their esteemed bar. Quartet Books recently published his memoir of a Hollywood childhood, Unaccompanied Memoir, to great acclaim.
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