The New English Art Club (“NEAC”) was founded in 1896 when the big beasts of British art John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer and Walter Sickert influenced by stays in Paris formed this club. For many years it was a stepping stone to the more illustrious Royal Academy. It now stands alone as a bastion of figurative art and has a regular annual exhibition at the Pall Mall gallery which I visited yesterday in the company of former President Jason Bowyer.
In walking to the gallery from Green Park station I passed the Royal Academy. Renowned artists like Ken Howard and Bernard Dunstan are both Academicians exhibiting their work at The Summer Exhibition of the Academy and the Mall gallery. The work at the NEAC like the Academy is varied in quality but you can buy a picture there from £750 to £30,000 depending on size, medium and reputation.
Bernard Dunstan, 97 years young, had a beautiful study of the cathedral at Todi and his artist wife Diane Armfield contributed a lovely garden scene.
He is not afraid to use huge canvases of a rainy streetscape as “Chucking it Down”.
Another totally differs picture I liked was a Beryl Cook style study of people arguing over Brexit. I was tempted to buy a detailed picture of Little Venice canal by Melissa Scott Brown as I have walked there many times but it was sold. She had other townscapes of buildings and streets that filled the canvas and she will surely become a popular artist.
Another feature of this reception is the number of artist present. Artist are strange people, often working alone and then thrust into social gatherings to sell ther wares. My dear friend Ken Howard with his ebullience is a natural salesman as well as an accomplished artist. NEAC plays an important role in contemporary British art both for artists and punters.