‘Davey the Brothel-Keeper (after Bob Dylan)’
This painting by Chris Gollon (30″ x 22″, 76 x 56cm, acrylic on paper 2016) takes its title and partial inspiration from a lyric in Bob Dylan’s great ballad ‘Tempest’. It has museum provenance, since it has just been exhibited in the museum retrospective exhibition of Gollon’s music-related works: CHRIS GOLLON: Beyond The Horizon (Oct 2019 – Jan 2020). It is also reproduced in the museum catalogue, available here: Shop.
Chris Gollon (1953 – 2017) is an established name in British painting, represented by IAP Fine Art since 1994. Critical acclaim for his work is increasing and the demand for his paintings to be shown in museums, public collections and public spaces continues. He first came to the attention of the art world when he was selected as Finalist in The Spectator Prize, 1989. Gollon then exhibited at Art Chicago and in 1998 with Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Gavin Turk in ROOT, a crossover exhibition of contemporary music and art created by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, at Chisenhale Gallery, London. In 2001, the award-winning River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, (with the aid of the Victoria & Albert Museum) purchased Gollon’s hinged triptych Big Fish Eat Little Fish, which now forms part of the museum’s permanent collection alongside works by Raoul Dufy and John Piper. In 2004, he exhibited with Bill Viola in ‘Presence: Images of Christ for the Third Millennium’ in St Paul’s Cathedral.
He enjoyed many solo museum shows in the UK and has works in major public collections including the British Museum. His painting ‘Einstein & The Jealous Monk’ was acquired by the Huddersfield Art Gallery in 2005, where it hangs with works by Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Walter Sickert. In 2007, Gollon accepted a commission from the River & Rowing Museum to paint the Henley Royal Regatta. Unveiled in June 2008, his painting entitled Gollon At Henley hangs in the museum’s collection in juxtaposition with Raoul Dufy’s Regatta at Henley. Gollon began a creative journey with film-makers JABOD leading to the creation of a neologism, and a new cinematic art work: Kaleidomorphism One. Fifteen years of Gollon’s paintings and imagery, music he selected, combine with JABOD’s design, rhythm and effects to create a unique film installation (18 mins). Kaleidomorphism One very successfully premiered on the opening night of the East End Film Festival, London, 2008.
Gollon’s site-specific and critically-acclaimed Fourteen Stations of the Cross, blessed in 2009 by Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, are permanently installed in the Church of St John on Bethnal Green, a grade-one listed church designed by Sir John Soane next to the Museum of Childhood. In 2009, Chris Gollon and his work were featured on Alan Yentob’s BBC1 programme Imagine. The book on his life and work Chris Gollon: Humanity in Art by art historian Tamsin Pickeral, and endorsed by Bill Bryson OBE, was published in 2010. Chris Gollon was made First Artist in Residence and Fellow of The Institute of Advanced Study (2009), Durham University, and accepted an invitation to return as Artist in Residence at St Mary’s College in 2011. Later that year, Gollon’s painting Birth was used as part of the story in Hollywood’s Twilight Saga movie Breaking Dawn (I). In 2013, he embarked on a unique collaboration with Grammy-nominated Chinese classical musician and occasional composer Yi Yao, which was a very original exercise in artistic boundary crossing. This resulted in an extraordinary installation of art and music And It Came To Pass—comprising a 41ft (12.5m) long painting combined and synchronized with a new musical composition—which successfully premiered at the Henley Festival in 2014. Gollon’s national touring exhibition to English cathedrals ‘Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible’ (2014 – 2016), included the first ever painting of Judas Icariot’s wife and attracted much critical acclaim in the national press, as well as a BBC interview with Chris Gollon by Clare Balding. Having travelled to the cathedrals of Guildford, Norwich, Chichester, Durham and Hereford, the touring exhibition came to Romsey Abbey in autumn 2016. In 2018, the Abbey purchased Chris Gollon’s large diptych ‘St Ethelflaeda’ for permanent installation.
Gollon had a lifelong interest in music and enjoyed the company of musicians. Song lyrics very often led to exciting new imagery, as with his recent artistic response to the songs of singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy. From 2015 – 2017, they embarked on an artistic experiment in boundary crossing, one art form influencing another, which produced a new album NAKED MUSIC’by Eleanor (partly co-written with Lloyd Cole and Dave Rotheray) and a new series of 25 paintings by Chris Gollon. NAKED MUSIC (exhibition and LIVE performance) headlined the Louder Than Words Festival in November 2016, supported by Arts Council England, where NAKED MUSIC The Songbook was also launched, featuring paintings, songs and interviews. In-depth interviews with Chris Gollon appeared in two more books published in 2017 and 2018, one a new biography of Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth by Nick Soulsby; the other a book on the Annunciation by Mark Byford. Since his death in April 2017, critical acclaim is ongoing and ever-increasing. Books and monographs continue to be published posthumously, featuring interviews/quotes (see Shop), and public acquisitions and major museum exhibitions continue. In 2018, Romsey Abbey purchased and permanently installed his diptych St Ethelflaeda. In autumn 2019, a major 3-month museum retrospective exhibition opened, which is also the UK premiere of a new film installation FIREWALL, a collaboration with the Sleaford Mods (see Exhibitions page). To enjoy more of Chris Gollon’s paintings, drawings and prints; or to find news of current and forthcoming exhibitions or publications featuring his work, please visit his official information website: www.chrisgollon.com.