Landscapes are relatively rare in Chris Gollon's oeuvre, and this work also has a link to Gollon's religious paintings. It is featured in art historian Tamsin Pickeral’s biography ‘Chris Gollon: Humanity in Art’ (2010), endorsed by Bill Bryson OBE, in which she writes:
“Ironically, it was a small slice of city life that inspired two landscape paintings in 2002, Landscape with Fish (I) and Landscape with Fish (II); both reflect a haunting, ghostly place with a flat, reflective lake surrounded by conical hills. These are some of the earliest landscape paintings in which Gollon established consistent, recognisable features that he went on to develop as the setting for his religious works, most notably the peculiar hill formation and use of mirror-flat water. The idea for these two works came after a short trip to New York. The artist took his family away for a much-needed long-weekend break to the iconic American city, and one evening found himself wandering through the bustling community of China Town in the lower east side of Manhattan. There, amid the traditional Chinese food markets, Gollon saw a fishmonger with a large bucket of fish barely covered with water, gasping dry, hollow air, and just clinging to life. The artist, despite his abiding fear of fish was profoundly moved by their plight, and painted these two landscape pictures of fish escaping and heading, en masse, back towards the waters of their birth. In the first version the fish, rather comically, glance nervously behind them, fearful of their escape being foiled, but the sense is that they will make it to the lake. The second version is rather darker, the fish eyes boggle with a deathly stare and the crumbled, sketchy paint application gives the allusion that they are already on the point of decay, and have lost the battle."
IAP Fine Art, London
IAP Fine Art, London
Reproduced and written about in the book on Chris Gollon's life and work: 'Chris Gollon: Humanity in Art' by art historian Tamsin Pickeral (Hyde & Hughes, 2010), endorsed by Bill Bryson OBE. ISBN: 978-0-9563851-0-9. Available from the gallery Shop.