BRIAN SAYERS Visions & revisions at Long & Ryle


Brian Sayers paints objects, laid out on table-tops, almost resembling altarpieces. These objects occupy the entire pictorial space. Sayers has been pre-occupied with this subject, almost without exception, since he first exhibited with Long & Ryle in 1992.

Many of the paintings in this exhibition have as their theme the play of contrast and contradiction within a visual ‘field’. Using amongst other ploys the still life as a stage set for juxtaposing imagery, Sayers has connected together disparate views culled from different sources. He has abducted characters from other works of art and placed them in a new environment. The discovery of John Sell Cotman’s series of paintings of ‘derelict houses by the sea’ with their loitering personnages, was the catalyst for this recent collection of works. Characters are abandoned and confused in an entropic universe and objects are encountered as in a museum, washed up on a shelf, and disconnected from their previous activity. Sayers’ new pictures aim to depict the poignancy of these dramas. An element of collage has been introduced and fragments from Sayers’ sketchbooks have made their way onto the canvas. Sayers gives us clues and references as to how to read his works by visually quoting from films, books and other works of art.

Brian Sayers graduated from the Slade School of Art in 1978 and has exhibited since 1991 with Long & Ryle.  He won The Discerning Eye Award in 1995 and won Second Prize in The Hunting Art Prizes in 1999.  His work is in a number of important collections. He is regularly exhibited in the BP Portrait Award held at the National Portrait gallery and in the Royal Academy’s Summer Show.


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