William Wilkins CBE - Paintings and Drawings
21 November 2018 - 20 December 2018
William Wilkins was born in 1938. On his mother’s side, he is descended from the doctors of Myddfai of Welsh legend and he is the great-grandson of the architect of the National Gallery in London. Brought up in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, he trained at Swansea College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London.
William is the founder chairman of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust, Project Director of Middleton National Botanic Garden of Wales, former Director of the Aberglasney Restoration Trust, and Former Chairman of the Artes Mundi Prize. He has work in numerous collections including: National Museum of Wales; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Arts Council of Wales; University of Wales, Aberystwyth; University College, Swansea; Contemporary Art Society of Wales, and many private collections worldwide.
David Fraser Jenkins, who was curator at the National Museum of Wales and Tate Gallery, has written an essay about the work for the exhibition catalogue and says: 'The paintings of William Wilkins are some of the most beautiful things that I have seen that have been made in my lifetime.
'‘I can think of few modern painters who can paint a group of bowls or pots on a polished wood surface to such ravishing effect.' John Russell Taylor, The Times
‘There is something very original in his work - a purity of tone that sets his paintings apart from anything else that they may seem at first glance to resemble. His eye is utterly flawless in its analysis of the light that forms his principal subject matter, and his hand is unfaltering in rendering it. The result is a series of small pictures that add up to a triumph of the painter's art.' Hilton Kramer, The New York Times
'The real triumph of William Wilkins' painting is that, for all their underlying complexities, our first sensation on encountering one of them is always a shock of delight. Their truest function is to communicate efficiently the very things that words cannot convey.' Edward Lucie-Smith.
Having recently taken a step back from his various public roles, he is now free to concentrate on his painting, and this exhibition consists of approximately 25 new paintings completed over the last four years, including landscapes, still life and a number of his highly sought after Venice paintings.