Artist Biography - Jeremy Annear
Jeremy Annear studied Fine Art Painting and Printmaking at Exeter College of Art in the late sixties before going on to become one of the most highly regarded contemporary British abstract painters.
Annear works mostly with oil on board and canvas. The shapes, colours and forms are built up in relief-like layers, resulting in alluring textures, surfaces and edges.
"I... constantly play at laying paint into paint, wet into wet. I have always wanted to throw lots of paint onto my supports. Part of the deepest satisfaction of painting for me has been to achieve exactly what I want with the paint."
Annear’s work is strongly influenced by the painters of St Ives as well as Klee, Picasso, Braque and Miro. In a 1998 interview he described the importance of the Cornish coast to his work:
'The narrowness of the Cornish Peninsular, the bouncing of light from coast to coast tends to pull the eye around. The ribboning of the line between the land and the sea, the shapes forms and colours all synthesize into abstract form in my painting along with my studio interior and other objects around me'.
Norbert Lynton writes: 'The moment we look beyond the surface of Annear’s paintings we find that their form is usually that of still lifes (the way they are organised, the formal patterns explored in them) while their content (what they speak of) is nature: the rhythms and shifting contrasts of landscape and seascape … and also the other way around: still life in the form of landscape. Metamorphosis is the name of the game, and the prize awarded to the winner is the living, often joyous harmony that radiates and resonates from the resulting picture'.
Annear was an active member of the Newlyn and Penwith Societies of Artists during the 1990s and has had numerous one-man shows at Messum’s, in St Ives, and at galleries in Berlin, Bremen and Leipzig. In the early 1990s he spent a year as artist in residence at the Atelierhaus Verlag in Worpswede, broadening his field of artistic interests over international horizons. Several visits to Australia brought Annear into contact with Aboriginal art for the first time, the graphic elements of which he found fascinating and which made subsequent appearances in his art.
Jeremy is influenced by the purity of form, construction, and composition — and calls himself a "European Modernist", committed to Brancusi's famous maxim: 'simplicity is complexity resolved'.
Jeremy is considered to belong to the esteemed lineage of Cornish modernists which began in the 1930s — with such artists as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth — then proceeded in the 1950s/60s — with such artists as Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost, and Patrick Heron — and then into the 1970s/80s with the Third Generation, of which Jeremy is a part, along with Bob Devereux, Breon O'Casey, and Tony O'Malley. All belong to a rich vein of art history, wound about vaunted modernist principles.