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Reception Selection : Beatrice Forshall

"Scarlet Malachite Beetle" Hand-painted drypoint engraving by Beatrice Forshall

Our new Reception Selection features work by conservationist printmaker, Beatrice Forshall, whose practice in hand-painted drypoint engraving raises awareness about endangered species, and the dangers of animal trafficking and habitat loss around the world. Beatrice's work features in conservation projects, publications, and in fine art prints such as those on Buy Art | Buy Now. Join us as we explore the stunning species in our new Reception Selection. 

Browse Beatrice Forshall's Reception Selection

Javan Green Magpie : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 75 x 75 cm (85.5 x 84.5 cm) - £1,020

The Javan Green Magpie is a song bird native to Western Java and Indonesia. It’s a member of the crow family and inhabits dense mountain forests. Born blue, it becomes green due to the yellow carotenoids in its diet of lizards, insects and frogs.

In captivity, its feathers turn blue as carotenoids are destroyed by light. Loss of habitat and illegal poaching have made this bird one of the most endangered in the world, with fewer than fifty remaining in the wild.

Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. Bird singing competitions have become so popular that thirteen species of song bird, including the Javan Gree are now on the brink of extinction.

African Grey and Timneh Grey Parrots : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 102 x 65 cm (120 x 84.5 cm)- £1,080

The Grey Parrot is one of the largest parrots in Africa, famous for its intelligence & ability to mimic human speech. It’s the world’s most traded wild bird, and is particularly susceptible to death in captivity. It’s estimated that up to 65 % of greys die before reaching export markets. 

Now recognised as a separate species, the smaller Timneh Parrot is also threatened by deforestation and illegal trafficking. 

Hyacinth Macaws : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 85.7 x 75 cm (95.5 x 84.5 cm) - £1,080

Measuring up to 1m in length, the Hyacinth Macaw is the world’s largest parrot and is able to fly speeds of 35 miles per hour. It’s found in Brazil and feeds off native palms, such as the bocaiuva and acuri. The latter is so hard that it cannot be eaten until pre-digested by cattle.

The Hyacinth Mavaw can eat poisonous seeds and unripe fruit inedible to other species. This is thought to be possible because it swallows chunks of clay from river banks which help absorb the poisons. It is a messy eater and plays an important role as seed disperser. It mates for life and nests in holes in the mondavi tree, which it fills with sawdust. It only selects trees which are over 70 years old.  It’s a sociable bird, and widow and widower macaws will seek the company of another pair.

The Hyacinth Macaw is endangered because of poaching and habitat loss. The forests in which it lives are being cleared for mechanised agriculture and cattle ranching.  In the 1980’s, 10,000 were taken from the wild.

Scarlet Malachite Beetle : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 54 x 54 cm (69.5 x 70.7 cm) - £850

The Scarlet Malachite Beetle is one of the UK's rarest insects. It is found in just eight sites. Its decline is thought to be due to habitat loss and the intensification of agriculture. It feeds on flowers in meadows and overgrown hedgerows. Buttercup pollen is one of its favourite foods.

Black-winged Starling and Bali Myna : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 92.5 x 75 cm (114 x 84.5 cm) - £1,080

The Black-winged Starling is the national bird of Bali. Both the Starling and the Bali Myna are native to the islands of Bali, and are two of the world’s rarest birds. Both species feed on insects, nectar and fruit, and can be found nesting together.

They are highly prized for their song by collectors, and because they’re now so rare and valuable, traffickers even rob local captive breeding centres which have been set up to preserve the species.

Japanese Cranes : Hand-painted Drypoint Engraving, 87 x 117 cm (95.5 x 130.5) - £1,630

In the Orient, the Japanese crane is sacred and seen as a symbol of fidelity, love and longevity. Its wingspan measures up to 2.5 metres. Foraging in deep water, it is the most aquatic species of crane and pairs for life, performing a synchronised courtship dance. It’s found in north-eastern China, Russia, Mongolia, Korea and on the Island of Hokkaido in Northern Japan. The chicks leave their nest after only a couple of days to follow their parents on foraging trips. Due to the intensification of agriculture, industrial development, habitat loss and hunting, this species is now endangered.

Browse Beatrice Forshall's Reception Selection

These works are available to view in our reception space at 17 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5BD. They can also be viewed and purchased online at Buy Art | Buy Now. For more information about how we can stop wildlife trafficking, go to For more information on how we can help save Japanese Cranes, go to For information on how we can help save the scarlet malachite beetle, go to

Scenes of Cornwall

"The Tunnel- Porthgwarra" Watercolour & bodycolour on paper by Colin Allbrook

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Artists have been drawn to the landscapes of Cornwall for hundreds of years. J.M.W. Turner toured the region in 1811, producing a series of watercolours depicting both picturesque coastlines, and sociological portraits of the Cornish mining industry and merchant fleet. After Turner came American artist J.A.M. Whistler, who visited Cornwall in 1884 with Walter Sickert, an influential member of the Camden Town Group. The Twentieth Century then saw key figures such as Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo, and Patrick Heron settle in Cornwall to live and work.

The Tunnel - Porthgwarra by Colin Allbrook RSMA RI

The creative community that emerged was dynamic and world-leading, and its spirit continues today. Colin Allbrook RSMA RI emulates Turner’s twin interest in the romantic and the anthropological with his Cornish cliff scenes, in which natural beauty mingles with traces of Cornwall’s mining past. At first sight, The Tunnel - Porthgwarra appears to be an homage in watercolour to the dramatic geology of the region; the contours of the rock face, which dominate the composition, stretch and twist like a monumental muscle. Yet in the heart of the rock we see a tunnel, visible only at low tide, forged by the miners who once worked here, whose mark is indelibly left upon the landscape.

Tin Mines - Botallack by Colin Allbrook RSMA RI

Allbrook produces a similar effect in Tin Mines - Botallack, where square stippling brush strokes in greens, browns and mauve cause the verdant cliffs to merge with the miners’ huts perched above. It is not immediately evident that this remote spot has been touched by heavy industry, and on discerning these structures, Allbrook reassures us through his colour palette that there is harmony here between the manmade and the natural.

Cornwall by Robert E Wells RBA NEAC

Cornwall by Robert E Wells RBA NEAC shares this sense of peaceful co-existence, with waves lapping gently at the feet of surfers strolling along Travone beach, a scattering of clouds like so much pink candyfloss in the background. Peter Clossick NEAC portrays the environment tamed yet further in Arch Farm, Cornwall, where bright splashes of yellow and red, on the tree in the foreground and the vehicle in the background, evoke a sense of vibrant fertility in this cultivated space.

Arch Farm, Cornwall by Peter Clossick NEAC

In contrast, Lucinda Storm’s coastal skyscapes leave no question as to the supremacy of the natural world. Vast and brooding skies are reflected in the mirror of the sea below, creating a fearsome reciprocity of elemental power, which leaves the viewer little room for self-aggrandisement. One must instead share the artist’s sense of awe, and her appreciation for the refraction of light upon water that gives these Cornish scenes a spellbinding quality.

Storm on its Way by Lucinda Storm

Whether hostile and awe-inspiring or picturesque and romantic, peopled, uninhabitable, or bearing the marks of historic use, this selection of Cornish scenes by contemporary artists gestures to the manifold responses which have inspired so many works of art, and art movements, whose origins lie in this often-overlooked region of the UK.

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In the studio with Eve Pettitt

"Colourfield" Oil on Canvas by Eve Pettitt

Mall Galleries steps into the creative world of artist, Eve Pettitt, to discuss colour, the beauty of the female form, and the joy of painting.

Find work by Eve Pettitt at Mall Galleries Buy Art | Buy Now

Seeing Red

'Red' oil painting by Bernadett Timko

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“When looking to create an image with as much energy and impact as possible, I find the power of the colour red cannot be beaten,” says artist Ian Rawling, whose photorealist works Toffee Apple and Tomato Ketchup Bottle feature in Seeing Red, the latest selection on Buy Art | Buy Now. This talented food artist was recently awarded the West Design – Faber Castell Award and the Visitor’s Choice Award at the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2018.

Tomato Ketchup Bottle by Ian Rawling

The sense of vigour evoked by the colour red has been recognised since ancient times, with festivals in the Roman Empire marked by the wearing of red costumes. Due to the iron oxide on its surface, Mars appears to be red. This planet was aligned with the Roman god of war, and through association, redness and vigour came to be associated with aggression and violence; gladiators were daubed with red paint before combat, and the Roman army wore red tunics.

In addition to energy and violence, popular connotations of the colour red have included everything from love and prosperity to revolution and danger. While love is often associated with red roses and hearts, red is also the colour of the universal stop sign, warning onlookers of danger. In a closer contradiction, the Catholic church employs red to signify both the blood of Christ and his martyrs, and the devil. From this cursory examination, two things become clear; firstly, red is a highly symbolic and emotionally-charged colour; secondly, that this symbolism is manifold and often antithetical and ill-defined.

The Author by Eve Pettitt

“The colour of blood, love and revolution!” says Buy Art | Buy Now artist, Eve Pettitt. “Red is bold, immersive and full of emotion; it plays a pivotal role in my work. All my paintings begin with a loose sketch in pure cadmium red, and these preliminary marks can often be seen in the final finished work.” In Pettitt’s semi-abstract painting The Author, a red wall merges with the red hair of the writing figure, suggesting an osmotic porosity between the figure’s internal and external landscapes.

Red Room by Roxana Halls

Roxana Halls also uses red to explore emotional ideas in her work; “In my painting Red Room, the intense red formally divides the composition and disconnects my suspended woman from her familiar domestic space. While this figure may be caught in stasis, there is no stillness to be found in red.” From the visual effect of perpetual motion in Eleanor Lines’ op art print Loop to the dissipating ruby ripples in Stephen J Bragg’s Burano 2, the works in Seeing Red affirm Halls’ conviction that ‘there is no stillness to be found in red’.

Loop by Eleanor Lines
Burano 2 by Stephen J Bragg

You can browse and buy works from the selection online, and while you’re browsing, why not listen along with our Seeing Red playlist on Spotify?

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Why We Paint Ourselves

Browse Me, Myself & I now

Sixteenth Century philosopher Michel de Montaigne claimed that he would rather understand himself than Cicero.

Montaigne begins his famous essay collection with the statement: ‘I desire to be viewed as I appear, without study or artifice, for it is myself I paint’. Self-analysis has been an essential practice of artists across all periods, backgrounds and disciplines. Though not all are as faithful to the facts as Montaigne, what unites many is the image of the painted self-portrait; consider James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dylan Thomas’ parody, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.

Self Portrait 2 by Andrew Farmer

But why is self-portraiture such a powerful genre? A self-portrait might showcase an artist’s skill or increase their celebrity, but a more profound reason for the genre’s popularity can be found in Montaigne’s initial claim. To privilege understanding of self above understanding of Cicero is to argue that self-knowledge is of paramount importance; the desire to paint oneself can then be aligned with the desire to know oneself. An interesting example of this is Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath. Famous for painting himself into his works, here is a rare double self-portrait, in which both David and Goliath are modelled on the artist, contrasting associations which must have prompted self-reflection.

Self Portrait, age 37 by Benjamin Hope PS

Though an artist may not share the revelations they experience during a self-portrait, the finished work often reveals intimate facets of their character, and herein lies the appeal of self-portraiture for the viewer. To view an artist through the lens by which they view themselves is to become familiar not only with their appearance but with their sensibility. While many portrait painters would challenge Oscar Wilde’s notion that ‘every portrait painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist’, in the case of self-portraiture, the mode of representation is seen to be as direct an expression of self as the content.

Self Portrait with Lonsdale Sweatshirt by Marco Ventura

To coincide with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2018, Mall Galleries has created Me, Myself & I, a capsule selection of self-portraits showcasing work by some of the finest contemporary portrait painters. Among the contributors are Miriam Escofet and Ania Hobson, both shortlisted artists for the prestigious BP Portrait Award 2018. Having begun her career as a landscape and wildlife painter, Hobson was drawn to portraiture by a fascination with the human form. From painting family members, the artist moved to self-portraits, one of which is now shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award.

Miriam Escofet’s Vanitas – Self Portrait is characteristic of the artist’s striking style, which often expresses gothic elements and features symbolic objects. “My paintings arrive at a kind of hyper real expression of the subject matter”, says Escofet; “the likeness and character of the sitter come first, but I am as interested in the work’s spatial and psychological depth”. To discover the works in Me, Myself & I is to gain precious insights into the characters of the artists, and into the historic tradition of self-portraiture.

Browse the collection here, and find out more about the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition here (May 10-25th).  

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Blue Notes: A Celebration of Colour

'A Turquoise Sea' by Lesley Birch

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American artist Georgia O’Keeffe spoke of ‘the blue that will always be there, as it is now, after all man's destruction is finished’. Certainly, the history of the colour blue is complex and inseparable from the history of mankind.

In the Ancient World, blue came from crushed lapis lazuli, mined in Afghanistan and exported across the globe. Because it was incredibly expensive, lapis lazuli was often used to adorn jewellery, as a way of publicising the wearer’s wealth. To create a cheaper alternative, the Ancient Egyptians developed the world’s first artificial pigment called Egyptian blue, which was reserved for funereal art and to colour the material used to wrap mummies, due to a popular belief that blue would ward off evil. The belief remains widespread today, with nazar charms (depicting the evil eye) often being made from blue glass.

Bernadett Timko, Lana

Having become associated with protection, the colour became synonymous with royalty and affluence in the Thirteenth Century, thanks in part to King Louis IX of France, who regularly dressed in blue – a habit promptly copied by his nobles. It was under Louis’ reign that the royal crest became an azure shield with golden fleur-de-lis.

The Renaissance saw another evolution in the symbolism of blue. Scientific developments made it possible to purify lapis lazuli to create ultramarine, a pigment so expensive that Italian artists reserved its use for painting the robes of the Virgin Mary. As a result, blue developed an association with holiness, humility and virtue. Far from the pomp and luxury of King Louis IX’s court, this new blue became a signifier of Christian meekness.

Alexander Goudie, Pieta

As colour production grew steadily cheaper, the popular use of blue for stained glass windows and the wall tiles of mosques strengthened a traditional connection between the colour and sacred practice. Yet when blue dyes became synthetic and truly affordable for everyone, the colour’s meaning changed again, as blue started to be used for military and school uniforms, and for workman’s jeans.

Georgia O’Keeffe may have been on to something when she spoke of the enduring quality of blue, but her claim that it ‘will always be there, as it is now’ overlooks continuous transformations in the manufacture, application and significance of this compelling colour.

Brian Robinson, Blue Shutters

‘Blue’ does not signify a unitary idea but a vast array of hues and tones, a virtue which artists have recognised and celebrated for centuries. In painting, blue can depict anything from the sea and sky to the pallor of skin and the violet hue of a shadow. Here at Buy Art | Buy Now, we wanted to recognise this diversity with a new selection. Its title, Blue Notes, refers to a technique in jazz where notes are unusually pitched to evoke heightened emotion. Similarly, in each work from our Blue Notes selection, the artist has chosen variants of blue to accent a particular feature or feeling in their composition.

“Blue is a really important colour in my work, particularly ultramarine & cerulean”, says featured artist, Sarah Jane Moon. “It has many positive associations for me, and makes vivid my upbringing in New Zealand, where vast summer skies met large rivers, lakes and oceans. I think it's a very spiritual and profound colour which also retains its mystery.”

Sarah Jane Moon, Nude with Orchid

Where Sarah Jane employs rich blue tones to depict ruched fabric, conferring a sense of warmth and tactile opulence, Debbie Ayles uses blue to affect a calming harmonisation in her art. “Paintings never begin blue”, she says; “I tumble through reds, oranges, yellows and greens, and then finally I introduce blues to pull everything together. Somehow the composition becomes calmer and more restful, ready for the architectural image I overlay.” 

Blue Notes features countless shades of blue across many mediums, from navy, azure, cerulean, aquamarine and teal to turquoise, cornflower, cyan, indigo, sapphire and cobalt. The subject-matter is as diverse, with the crucifixion, the female nude, architecture, maritime, still life, and abstract art all represented. This rich spectrum is designed to echo the enduring and ever-changing legacy of Blue Notes, in both art and life.

Anne-Marie Butlin, Delphiniums

Browse the Blue Notes Selection now

Painting the Holy Land with Lachlan and Alexander Goudie

'Nativity' acrylic and chalk painting by Alexander Goudie

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Alexander Goudie, Nativity

This year, BBC One marks Easter with a two-part documentary series about painting the Holy Land, presented by Scottish artist and broadcaster, Lachlan Goudie. Biblical stories and settings have been commonplace in global visual culture, and they continue to be popular subject for artists, including Lachlan’s father (the renowned artist Alexander Goudie) who created a crucifixion series inspired by the Holy Land. While Alexander Goudie visited the sacred spot only in imagination, this weekend BBC One will shadow Lachlan as he discovers the Holy Land for himself, sketching and painting the people and landscapes that he sees.

The first episode will screen at 9am on Good Friday, and follows the last chapter of Jesus’ life on earth; the second episode will screen at the same time on Easter Sunday, and traces the story and cultural influence of the Virgin Mary. After tracing Jesus’ movements before his crucifixion, Lachlan will consider the discrepancy between Mary’s relative absence in the Bible and her ubiquitous representation in visual art, as he visits key locations in the story of Christ’s conception and birth.

Alexander Goudie, Virgin Mary

Coinciding with the documentary, Mall Galleries has created a new selection of biblical and Easter themed works by Lachlan and his late father on Buy Art | Buy Now. Alexander Goudie worked across a range of mediums including clay sculpture, gouache, chalk, and acrylic paint, to create a body of striking works depicting biblical scenes. From familiar motifs such as the Mater Dolorosa (the sorrowful mother), the Pieta and the Crucifixion, to original compositions like Carrying the Crucifix, Alexander Goudie used blocks of muted colour and stylised monochromatic figures to produce iconic interpretations of religious narratives.

Alexander Goudie attained global fame with a painting series inspired by Robert Burns’ narrative poem, Tam o’ Shanter. As with these paintings, Goudie’s biblical works bear testament to the artist’s unique ability to translate literary into visual narrative, inflecting artistic expression whilst retaining all the essence and drama of his source texts.

Alexander Goudie, Carrying the Crucifix

Alexander’s son, Lachlan Goudie, also employs confident swathes of colour in his paintings of the Holy Land. Lachlan’s first work depicts the sea of Galilee, famous in art history as the setting of Rembrandt’s only seascape, ‘The Storm on the Sea of Galilee’, which was stolen in 1990 during the biggest art theft in US history. Where Rembrandt’s lost work is an epic image of Christ sailing upon storm-tossed seas, Lachlan’s painting is a much quieter portrayal of a modern-day fisherman, stretching out his net in a small dinghy. As a foil to the region’s grand narratives about the ‘fisher of men’, Lachlan’s fisherman reminds us that ordinary local people have always lived and worked in the Holy Land, creating their own narratives and experiences of place; Sea of Galilee quietly celebrates these individuals, and the gentle thrum of everyday life in this modern-ancient setting.

Lachlan Goudie, Sea of Galilee

Lachlan’s panoramic painting, The Walls of Jerusalem, also presents a combination of tradition and modernity. Since ancient times, the city has been surrounded by walls which have been periodically ruined, rebuilt, and extended. The complex and often conflict-ridden history of the region is written into the patchwork of these defences. Yet Lachlan Goudie treats this subject with the dynamism and vibrancy of contemporary impressionism, using block colour and loose strokes to evoke the city as a living and amorphous organism. Through these works, as with his upcoming documentary, Goudie the Younger situates the Holy Land of the imagination in the contemporary everyday reality of place and people.

Lachlan Goudie, The Walls of Jerusalem

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Curator's Choice: Richard Fitzwilliams

'Ghost Dance' oil painting by Rachel Arif

Royal commentator and film critic, Richard Fitzwilliams, has long been a passionate promoter of figurative art. Fitzwilliams contributes to CNN, BBC, Sky News, and Al Jazeera, and has given over 700 television interviews as well as numerous lectures. Now, this acclaimed critic takes us through his top picks from Buy Art | Buy Now. 

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Rachel Arif

Ghost Dance

Here the landscape seems convulsed by powerful, unseen forces, and the trees resemble spectres which give the scene an eerie ambience: weird and wonderful.

Rachel Arif, Ghost Dance

Ben Eden


This flower piece has a depth and texture reminiscent of those by Henri Fantin-Latour. The almost luminous beauty of its subject set against a dark background is particularly appealing.

Ben Eden, Carnations

Sarah Jane Moon

Nude with Orchid 

There is a carefree abandon about this sitter’s pose. The colours are dazzling and it has a sybaritic quality, which casts a spell like Circe and draws you in.

Sarah Jane Moon, Nude with Orchid

Susan Ryder

Grand Salon with Red Roses 

Sue arranges these interiors, and I feel I am a privileged observer of the ornate grandeur of this spacious room, which is enhanced by the floral arrangements; it is wonderfully atmospheric.

Susan Ryder, Grand Salon with Red Roses

Bernadett Timko


This really intrigues me, especially since half of the sitter’s face is bathed in shadow - a sensitive study of an introvert which I find fascinating.

Bernadett Timko, Wren

Robbie Wraith

Clementines, Silver Bowl 

The tones of this work are inspired by the old masters, and Robbie is a noted pupil of Pietro Annigoni. Aesthetically, it is extremely pleasing; the fruits tantalise us, their succulence seeming almost within reach.

Robbie Wraith, Clementines, Silver Bowl

Browse Richard Fitzwilliams' choices now

Art Moving Made Easy

Cathal Murphy, Managing Director of Art Box Worldwide, got into the job “by accident”, he says. “I actually studied Music at College; I played and taught Music for several years until I met my partner, who is an artist. My grandmother had always made a point of taking us to the National Gallery, so I knew a little bit about Art, but it was only after meeting my partner that I started to get into the tech side of it.”

“It was during a group exhibition; I was helping my partner install her work, when one of the other exhibitors approached us and asked, ‘when will the technician be finished with your work and able to help me?’ That’s when I realised – there’s a market here. I started to do technician work and was Technical Manager of Galway Arts Centre for several years.”

Cathal Murphy moved to Maurice Ward Art Handling in 2011, where the Art Box was developed. “The idea for Art Box came from a phone call with a lady in west Galway”, Cathal says. “She wanted to get a £500 painting to London, and the transportation was going to cost £800. Quite reasonably, she told me this was ridiculous.”

Transportation was expensive because the lady lived in a remote area, and it was initially for clients like her that the Art Box was invented. “Moving artwork in a city is easy, but if you live in west Galway, rural Scotland, or at the top of the Alps, someone has to travel far out of their way to get to you.”

The solution Cathal came up with is the Art Box. A reinforced box is sent to the customer, the customer packs the artwork into the box, and it is picked up by a courier, fully insured for the journey. “We had great fun trialling the prototype models; our Director gave us artwork from her own collection with which to road-test the Art Box. ‘Do what you can do to them’ were her words. We tested out different materials and threw the boxes around until we had a product which could take a beating.”

The Art Box uses gallery-standard polythene wrap and polyethylene foam, which gives the product a clean look and provides excellent protection. Each Art Box is then insured according to the value of its contents. “If a customer tries to organise insured transportation themselves, the first question an insurer will ask is ‘who packed it?’ If the answer isn’t ‘a professional art mover’ it’s very hard to get insurance.” Cathal has been transporting art in Art Boxes since 2012, and 5,000 boxes later, he has yet to have an insurance claim.

Art Box Worldwide is already equipped to send its boxes anywhere, but the company plans to develop its operations further to offer a consistently high level of service and ease of access globally. “Because even in the last twelve months I have seen the art market become more globalised and move further into online sales”, says Cathal. We are proud to work with Art Box Worldwide on all sales made through Buy Art | Buy Now, Mall Galleries’ online collection of original and affordable artwork.

Thanks to the input of partners like Art Box Worldwide, using Buy Art | Buy Now is among the easiest and safest ways to purchase art, and as Cathal Murphy expands his business across the globe, so will we. 

Art and Architecture - What's the Connection?

'Alcazaba' acrylic painting by Martin Goold

Browse the Architectural vs Abstract Selection here 

There is a fascinating dynamic that working from an architectural subject provides; however freely the painting material flows and however close to abstraction I go, the persuasive presence of an underlying geometry and logic seems to follow. (Martin Goold)

Visual Art has always taken inspiration from Architecture; you can find Italian frescoes, dating back as far as the 1st century BC, which mimic the marble columns of buildings. Famous artist-cum-architects include Michelangelo who, along with creating some of the most influential frescoes and sculptures in the history of Western art, also designed St Peter’s Basilica. Giovanni Battista Piranesi may be best-known for his prints of Italy, but he also worked for the Magistrato delle Acque, an organisation responsible for engineering and restoring the country’s historical buildings, and in 1766, Piranesi created a design for London’s Blackfriars Bridge.

Diana Sheldon, The Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

More recent figures such as Antoni Gaudi and Le Corbusier have further highlighted the intersections between Art and Architecture; few of us could confidently separate the artistic from the architectural elements of Gaudi’s highly-decorated Sagrada Familia, or Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut. The closeness of this relationship is less surprising when we consider that the Royal Institute of British Architects only reclassified Architecture as a science in 1958, before which the subject was predominantly taught in art schools.

Miriam Escofet, The Temple

Mall Galleries latest Selection on Buy Art | Buy Now showcases how today’s artists are reflecting this age-old alliance. Architectural vs Abstract features artwork by celebrated artists such as the 2018 winner of the Henri Roche Award, Martin Goold; three-time winner of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Peter Clossick; 2018 FBA Futures exhibitor, Gail Seres-Woolfson, and Sarah Spencer NEAC. Spencer conceives architectural elements in painting as “a vehicle for playing with light and shadow"; "buildings filter, reflect and absorb the atmospheric light”, she says. The sunlight in Spencer's Il Convente Dei Carmine, albeit unseen, is a central presence in the work. Another artist interested in renaissance architecture is Diana Sheldon: “I love classical architectural detail and painting buildings from an unusual perspective", she says, "especially in Italy, where you find a special contrast of light and shade which is particularly rewarding”.

Martin Goold, Torre Apponale

While many of our artists create faithful representations of architectural structures, others use architecture as a springboard into abstraction. Gail Seres-Woolfon became fascinated with the urban landscape while training at The Art Academy in London. Her works in this selection, Urban Suspension and Girl Walking, explore how the individual creates and interacts with the metropolis. Urban Suspension deconstructs urbanism, presenting a chaotic assemblage of abstracted materials, where emerging shapes suggest the potential for future order, design and construction.

My paintings explore the experience of moving through the city and the rhythms, space and architecture around me. Through a process of layering and abstraction, observation and reimagining, I build environments with colliding planes, illusory depth and dancing lines, alive with uprights, angles and the possibility of encounter. (Gail Seres-Woolfson)

Dan Rice famously claimed that ‘there are three forms of visual art: painting is art to look at, sculpture is art you walk around, and architecture is art you can walk through’. Girl Walking ironises this simplistic distinction; it is a 2D urban scene which reaches towards three-dimensionality, in which a female figure seems about to walk out of the composition. The artist compels us to consider whether architecture can be defined by its functionality: the experiencer's ability to 'walk through' it. Would the work be any less architectural if the ‘girl walking’ walked out of view? Even in its title, Girl Walking foregrounds this tension between viewer and experiencer, spectacle and environment, artistic and architectural design.

Gail Seres-Woolfson, Girl Walking

This is a fascinating idea to reflect upon, and one for which Mall Galleries Buy Art | Buy Now is ideally placed, having access to such a diverse range of artistic styles and subjects. Take a turn through Architectural vs Abstract and consider how each artist presents a subtly different dynamic between the individual, art and architecture, as they invite you to imaginatively look at, walk around, and walk through their constructions.

Browse the Architectural vs Abstract Selection here