The New School House Gallery is a private art gallery set in a pleasant garden / courtyard off Peasholme Green in York, just by the Quilt Museum. Passing it on our way to the city walls, we decided to pop in to have a look at the exhibition of paintings by Jake Attree. He’s a local, born in York trained at York Art College, Liverpool College of Art and the Royal Academy and has a studio at Dean Clough in Halifax. .
The exhibition, The City, the Gardens and the People, features works in a number of media – oils, pastels, acrylic, ink and pencil sketches. There’s a catalogue available on-line here, and this tells us that
The majority of the works in The City, the Gardens and the People centre on interpretations of York, the city of Attree’s birth, and the exhibition consists almost entirely of new work created in 2012-3.
The most prominent work in the exhibition was, Extensive View of York (2006) which “does what it says on the tin” – it’s a large scale oil painting, covering two large panels, of a view over the rooftops of York towards the Minster
Extensive View of York (2006) by Jake Attree. Oil on 2 panels 183x386cm
Like many artists his work straddles abstract and figurative approaches. Leaning towards one or the other depending on the work.
He lays his oil paint on the canvas or board very heavily in thick layers, reminding me of Frank Auerbach. They didn’t all work for me – I found some of his smaller landscapes “muddy”, but I did like his Extensive View of York very much and some of his simpler, more abstract landscapes – Red Tide(2013), Red Tide – Red Accent (2013) and Jumping Hearts (2013)
Jumping Hearts (2013) Oil on board 16x20cm
and some of his more figurative street scenes featuring people, Looking up Fossgate and Across Pavement (2013) and Figures Passing St Michael le Belfry (2013).
Looking up Fossgate and Across Pavement (2013)
Oil on panel 90x40cm
In general, I tended to prefer his pastels, which had a blurred, out of focus quality to them that I liked, and some of his pencil sketches.
The Minster Seen from the Mansion House Roof (2013) Oil pastel 60x75cm
Figures on Coney Street, Early Evening (2013) Oil Pastel 55x62cm
The gallery is in a Grade II listed former schoolhouse and located in a landscaped garden, just behind the city walls
Despite the late time of the year, there were plenty of colourful plants still in bloom.