Mall Galleries' Director, Lewis McNaught selects his new choices for the new year on Buy Art | Buy Now. 

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Peggy Cozzi

Broken Journey

I get transfixed by colour. The confident sweep of  Peggy Cozzi's brushwork and the textural effect of her applied colours (was the subtlety of this combination deliberate or is it fortuitous?) combine to make this little work a gem! Yes, it’s too small to hang over the fireplace, but hung with devotion, it will always excite the eye and imagination.

Peggy Cozzi, Broken Journey

Sarah Spencer

Verrucola, Tuscany

No lover of figurative painting who visits Italy today can fail to be moved by the ‘spiritual’ significance of Tuscany as the ‘cradle’ of Western art. Sarah Spencer treads lightly but reverently through this modest Tuscan interior. It doesn’t shout ‘architectural study’ or ‘history lesson’. Instead, it’s a quiet and personal reflection on encountering a divine little space that excited her attention.

Sarah Spencer NEAC, Verrucola, Tuscany

Michael Jules Lang

West Wittering III

I’ve holidayed at West Wittering since I was a child, and I keep getting drawn back to its massive skies and wide-open beaches. The stark contrasts in this vivid oil study by Michael Jules Lang of the grey sky (I remember many of those), the darkening water, and the sodden colour of the sandy beach attracted me. I particularly like the spontaneity and immediacy of Lang’s brushwork.

Michael Jules Lang, West Wittering III

Jeanette Hayes

Pink Gardens

I wasn’t surprised to see a major work by Jeannette Hayes, President of The Pastel Society, sell so quickly at the 2017 RA Summer Exhibition. She paints powerful, expressive abstract and figurative subjects with an honest, uncompromising technique. She is also widely admired - and rightly so - for the way she deploys her colour and tones. ‘Pink Gardens’ stands out as one of her most intriguing landscape studies combined with a kind of abstract ‘expressionism’.

Jeanette Hayes, Pink Gardens 

Miriam Escofet

Olive Tree and Moon

Although I seem to be drawn more and more towards abstraction, I find this painting, which is almost hyper-realistic, very exciting. Not just because there’s an olive tree involved (although the knobbly, sinewy trunk of an ancient olive tree is always mysterious and inviting), but because its surreal character excites the imagination. What kind of dialogue is the moon having with the tree? What is it telling us about the future? I love paintings that surprise me and make me think.

Miriam Escofet, Olive Tree and Moon

Michèle Jaffé-Pearce

Over and Beyond

In Over and Beyond, Michele has achieved a perfect balance of colour, tone and space. Its fluidity suggests randomness, but she hasn’t achieved this result by accident. Instead, the colours are juxtaposed carefully and deliberately to maximise the impact of the whole. You don’t need to look for forms or subject within the spaces; the artist is inviting you to enjoy the same emotion she’s experiencing. It will go on delivering much pleasure.

Michèle Jaffé-Pearce, Over and Beyond

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