One of the benefits of being a Contemporary art dealer is the pleasure gained in the building of relationships with the artists one represents. I am honoured to have been dealer and friend to Nic for almost 20 years now and this new exhibition encapsulates much of what we have achieved together over that time.
There have been many special moments to remember...The dramatic stormy night we erected the huge Still Water at Marble Arch, the mad success of the studio recreation at the Masterpiece Art fair , Henri bringing George, the horse subject of many of Nic’s works, into the gallery to walk around the first exhibition and of course the excitement of many many studio visits, always a revelation. I am so lucky to have entered the Surrey version of the Forge of Hephaestus, and watched Nic’s creative process in all its dusty, noisy, chaotic glory. In recent years the ping of a text alert reveals an image of a new piece in process, an experimental patina, a recently purchased tweed hat, or boat, or even a tractor . Two years ago I was standing near the Parthenon in Rome and looked at my phone to see Nic had texted me a drawing...of the Parthenon , And he didn’t know I was there , a strange synchronicity, but not unusual in our friendship . The works in this show include many wonderful drawings, including that one. Nic has returned to this medium with enthusiasm and his usual verve.
The work in this exhibition covers a broad range of many of the styles of the last 20 years. The Turning head with an expressive rough surface in clay of the early years, Greek inspired fragments , the Horse at Water, Spiritual works, and even abstracted forms . There are pieces in bronze, marble, 24 carat gold, sterling silver ,all alongside the spectacular charcoal and pencil drawings.
The Horse remains Nic’s signature subject , but this show demonstrates how very wide and different the works he creates are within that theme. Emotionally powerful, carrying a calm and stillness that is almost spiritual, loaded with meaning, all created with his hair raising modelling ability.
Of course with great success and public acclaim comes imitation but it’s only when you see the real thing in all its power and glory that you can dismiss the pale imitations and revel in the assured sculptural language of the master and originator.
I am proud to present this wonderful selection of new work with thanks to Nic and Henri for 20 years of shared creative endeavour and fun and success , and I look forward to the next 20
Gerry Farrell , 2018