Graham Little at Alison Jacques Gallery

Alison Jacques Gallery is one of London’s leading contemporary art galleries. The gallery, established in 2004 by Alison Jacques in a small townhouse off Bond Street relocated in 2007 to an ambitious 3,500-square-foot space at Berners Street opposite the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia.

Portrait of young woman.

Graham Little: Untitled (Black necklace), 2014.

In January, Graham Little’s work will be exhibiting at the gallery. Little is a Scottish artist who lives and works in London. He has exhibited widely internationally including various New York and London galleries.

Little portrays beautiful women deep in thought. The use of coloured pencil makes the portraits soft yet textured. As though although the women seem angelic on the surface there is some grit and emotion seeping through their distanced stare.

Little blends Romanticism and Postmodernism. The facial features of the women are soft like the works of Rossetti, however, Little revels in the textures, patterns, and composition of their garments. The imagery is inspired by contemporary fashion advertisements and there is a glimmer of this superficial culture in his works but this is juxtaposed by the facial expressions of his female subjects. Their deep stare hints that they are emotionally complex protagonists as opposed to living dolls.

Many of the images are sourced from iconic fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. The drawings are an alteration of the original advertisement to fit Little’s vision.

In his drawings, the flat, glossy magazine images are transformed into richly textured scenes, abundant with objects and variously patterned textiles, centred upon a solitary, enigmatic woman.

His women often appear evocative, moody and contemplative. Despite the objects and patterns he includes in his works, the eye is still drawn to the woman in the painting. This in itself emphasises the power of each character he portrays.

The exhibition will show Little’s Untitled (Black necklace), 2014. The dark shrouds of the woman’s gown frame her beautiful, pensive face. The beach scene in the background draws you in and you feel like you can hear the ocean lapping on the shore and the smell the salty sea air yet her gaze is undisturbed.

The exhibition will run until mid-February. Make sure you put it in your diary for a night when you fancy appreciating seventies vogue designs whilst gazing into the eyes of a romanticised heroine.

Graham Little at Alison Jacques Gallery, 16-18 Berners Street, London W1T 3LN, from 16 January to 14 February, 2015.

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