Fabian Peake
an eye either side
1 Oct 2022 – 2 Jan 2023

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Fabian Peake emerged as a painter in the London art scene of the late 1960s. In the decades since, he has expanded his practice including several dramatic stylistic leaps, each time mastering a new visual language and exploring its capacity for image making. While he started out as a painter, Peake’s later work broadened to incorporate tailored textile wall pieces, cut-out reliefs, sculpture, drawing, photography, writing and poetry, with each informing one another.

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what is under there? oh, it’s olives. what is
under the plate? a day of sun, a flat
day of rain. top hats talked; authority. I see
the oval cast its shadow, its plastic horse shoe.

from Fabian Peake, an eye either side, 14 / 16 May 2022

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This landmark exhibition marks the artist’s 80th birthday and is a celebration of Peake’s broad and multifaceted career, as both artist and writer. Spanning six decades, the exhibition encompasses early paintings from the 1970s to new works and showcases Peake’s playful and experimental use of diverse media.

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Stills Film

2012 – 2013
Video and audio

With production support by Anthony Faroux

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At the core of Peake’s work is a concern with meaning, how it is constructed and where it is recomposed into something new. He approaches images and words as material, in the manner of collage, establishing a parallel between the visual and textual.

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Peake is interested in ideas of theatricality, performance and play. He adopts a neo-dada sensibility in which chance undermines predetermined outcomes and games, whether with image or language, become the means through which to compose and create. He is also indebted to Pop art, however in his work images become symbols within a highly personal lexicon of meaning.

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About the artist

Fabian Peake studied first at Chelsea College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art. As a student he met his wife, the artist Phyllida Barlow, with whom he has five children including the artists Eddie Peake and Florence Peake. For many years, Peake taught painting as a Senior Lecturer in the Fine Art Department of Manchester Metropolitan University, while continuing his own career as an artist.

He is the son of the writer, illustrator and artist Mervyn Peake (1911 – 1968), best known for the ‘Gormenghast’ series of fantasy novels, and the painter and writer Maeve Gilmore (1917 – 1983). Peake has had numerous solo exhibitions, the most recent at the Kunstmuseum, Luzern in 2019 and has been included in various group exhibitions in Great Britain, Europe, the United States and South America. He lives and works in London.

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On view in Somerset

The gallery is open Tue – Sun, 10 am – 4 pm. Please visit our location page to plan your visit.

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