On the 2nd December 2016, Bruce McLean: A Hot Sunset and Shade Paintings opened at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery. Consisting entirely of works produced over the last year, the exhibition includes 6 ‘Shade’ paintings, a pair of six-meter-long minimalist ‘Sunset’ Paintings and a series of mixed media ‘Garden’ pieces.
McLean has gained considerable international recognition for his immensely varied career. An acclaimed British action sculptor, painter and ceramicist, few artists are as versatile as McLean, or bring such as sense of curiosity and playfulness to their work.
Paget PR secured several high-quality features across broadcast, print and online for the gallery. On the day of the opening, McLean was interviewed by Luke Blackall for TV channel London Live’s Arts and Culture programme, London Go.
In a review published both in print and online, Matt Breen of Time Out stated that ‘McLean’s never taken art-making too seriously’, and praised the ‘large, colourful studies of light and shadow’.
Digby Warde-Aldam of The Week commented on McLean's ‘astonishing mastery of painting’ in which ‘backgrounds of glorious colour are broken up by odd, jagged shapes that recall Matisse’s cutouts’.
Art Review praised McLean’s paintings for their 'ironic relativism' and for demonstrating the 'irrelevance of the arcane aesthetics they reference.' This results in a 'telling critique of the merely decorative formalism' of modernist abstraction.
In an extensive interview piece for Apollo online, Gabrielle Schwarz gave insight into McLean’s ‘typically unpretentious’ approach, examining his ability to move from medium to medium with ‘his own sense of artistic coherence’.
In September 2016, Bernard Jacobson Gallery’s exhibition Robert Motherwell: Abstract Expressionism opened to the public. The exhibition offered an in-depth presentation of one of the key members of the art movement, spanning the artist’s distinguished career and including his great final collage, The Blue Guitar. Bernard Jacobson is widely acknowledged as an expert on the life and work of Robert Motherwell, having written the first biography of the artist.
The exhibition was chosen by Jonathan Jones for Five of the Best in the Guardian Guide who noted it as ‘a survey of the most intellectual of America’s abstract expressionists’. Writing for his column in Tatler, Josh Spero discussed Motherwell’s The Mexican Window (1974) saying ‘his subject is both metaphorical and figurative’. Other print coverage included mentions in The Art Newspaper, RA Magazine, House & Garden and The World of Interiors.
The total readership of editorial secured for by Paget PR was over 85 million.
In March 2016, Bernard Jacobson Gallery’s exhibition opened to the public. Titled after the seminal Matisse painting Le Bonheur de Vivre (1905-06), this ambitious exhibition featured 22 works by some of the greatest art masters of the 20th century, including Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Sam Francis and Robert Motherwell.
Bonheur de Vivre was the lead exhibition in Jackie Wullschlager’s Visual Arts Critic’s Choice in the FT Weekend, Life & Arts, in which she comments “the keynote is a ‘sense of light and life and joy and absolute happiness’ reflected in all the works; it is extraordinary in some outstanding examples from the darkest days of Nazi occupation.”
The exhibition also featured in FT How to Spend It, in which Charlotte Abrahams comments “it is always exciting to be presented with a new perspective on familiar names, and Bonheur de Vivre offers a fascinating new insight into these 20th century greats."
The total estimated circulation of print editorial secured by Paget PR was over 1.7 million, including pieces from The Sunday Times, the Guardian Guide, The Daily Telegraph, FT Weekend, Life & Arts, The Art Newspaper and Art + Auction.