Home Magazine Spencer Shakespeare - Painter of Magic

Exploring the Magical Realism of an Artistic Visionary and the Series "Crossings".

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To view a Spencer Shakespeare painting is to be transported to a magical place. It is a place inspired by the natural world, but it’s something more too. Apparitions and illusions mingle with recognisable features of the landscape, just out of reach. Figures and creatures are implied, yet never fully revealed. These paintings take us into a dream state.

Shakespeare's style is expressive, lyrical and free. In a vivid, focused palette of greens, pinks, reds and blues, his gestures are bold and unrestrained. Oil and acrylic are combined on the canvas to create contrasts between matte and shiny, flat and relief. Successful at any scale, he is perhaps most fully at home on a very large surface. The space and scale give him licence to make marks without inhibition. The result is intense and commands our attention. Yet we are not dominated by this intensity; rather, we travel with him to the garden of his imagining.

Spencer Shakespeare. Crossings, 2023. Courtesy of the Vanner Gallery

Born in London in 1967, Spencer has drawn obsessively since he was a boy. Later he completed a degree in illustration at Bournemouth College of Art and Design (1992 – 1995). His journey since then is one of breaking free, of finding his own style, which he has unambiguously achieved. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including in Sydney, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York.

His latest collection of paintings, created in his studio in Cornwall the Summer of 2023 is now on show at the Vanner Gallery in Salisbury, UK.

Gallery Director, David Christie, says, "We are honoured to have Spencer’s outstanding work on show here. It is beautiful, expansive painting, absolutely distinctive and recognisable. Our visitors are enjoying this confident, assured collection of pieces.”

Spencer Shakespeare. The River Runs Through: Green Tara, 2023. Courtesy of The Vanner Gallery


Spencer adds, "I am so pleased to bring these paintings to such a significant place; the convergence of five rivers at Salisbury could not provide a better energy for the works. These paintings have been informed by the ancient British landscape and act as portals to escape the modern condition."

Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Spencer Shakespeare at the Vanner Gallery from September 22 to October 19, 2023.

Written by Kooness

Cover Image: Spencer Shakespeare. The Lovers, 2023. Courtesy of The Vanner Gallery

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