Art - Norman Adams

Provence to Paradise, an exquisite exhibition of muted and vibrant watercolours by Norman Adams, opens on Monday at the Star Gallery and is a real gem. The outer world of Norman Adams’ ‘Provence’ paintings – large, impressive landscapes from the 1980s which have never been shown publicly before - draw a huge contrast with his better known ‘Paradise’ paintings which give an insight into his inner world and include the well-known ‘Dark Madonna’, ‘Humility Has Bright Wings’ and ‘Silent Meeting’, all of which were shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2000/2001.

Best known for his spiritual and biblical paintings, Adams often called himself ‘a freelance agnostic’ and despite never aligning himself publicly with any religious movement, his work is sprinkled heavily with religious imagery and Christian motifs. Indeed, most of his paintings have a spiritual essence and translucent splendor. Among Adams’ celebrated ‘spiritual’ work is a mural in St Anselm’s Church in Kennington, London (1971); his illustrations for the Oxford University Press for parts of the Old Testament (1967) and his 14 Stations of the Cross for St Mary’s Church in Manchester (1994). Provence to Paradise is hugely impressive and will win Norman Adams new fans and delight those already appreciative of his great work. This is the first major exhibition of Adams’ work commissioned since his death, at the age of 78, on 9 March 2005 and provides a timely retrospective into his body of work. KA


Cherry Orchard, by Norman Adams
Where?
Star Gallery, Castle Ditch Lane, Lewes
When? 11am-5.30pm till 22nd July 2006
How Much? Free
 

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