The new solo exhibition, The Strange Edge of Reality: Ceri Pritchard Paintings 2012 – 2016 was officially opened at Tenby Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 6 August by Dr Harry Heuser, Teaching Fellow at Aberystwyth University.
Dr Heuser said, “Last December, Ceri Pritchard invited me to see some of his latest work, which he puts before us today in this gallery…What we witness here are not interior monologue. We are not prying into someone else’s secrets, at least not without consent. Ceri’s compositions are carefully staged. They are spectacular set pieces with props, masks and harlequin costumes fit for the Commedia dell’arte – if pantomime s were created by Franz Kafka and produced by Sigmund Freud. The dramatic lighting and overall theatricality of Ceri’s paintings set them apart from the illusionistic. We are not just taking in a performance. We wonder what’s happening behind the scenes.
“These compositions are finished in execution only. In all other respects, they are incomplete – open to the complex mind games we call, for lack of a better word, ‘interpretation.’”
He continued, “The Strange Edge of Reality is an apt title for this exhibition. The works we see here are on the verge, teetering between worlds, not only in their set of imagery but also in their sense of place in art history and the art world of today…Among the artists and writers who influenced him, Ceri names the Surrealists Andre Breton, Francis Picabia, Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. Not that Ceri’s work is an homage to them, much less a lament for a lost cause. Rather it makes a case for our renewed engagement with practices associated with the movement…Ceri’s neo-surrealism, like the work of the Surrealists before him, is cosmopolitan rather than parochial, and its expressions of our inner worlds are universal.”
Dr Heuser concluded, “Many of the paintings in this exhibition are expressive of a tension between creative freedom and the demand placed on art to reflect the external world, that is to be both mimetic and relevant, to resemble in order to matter. Ceri Pritchard has kept alive the urge to create by being alive to strangeness and by insisting on looking askance at ‘reality’ perched, as he is, on the edge.”
This sales exhibition runs until Sunday 18 September.
To read a full transcription of Dr Heuser’s speech, please visit: http://broadcastellan.blogspot.co.uk