Bruer Tidman and Tom Lamprell were born to draw and paint. They were both Art Prodigies. Their work, from a very early age, shows amazing dexterity, confidence and drawing skills. And their drawing skills, in turn, ground their work and give it weight and authority, something so often missing in much of today’s art.
Bruer Tidman is truly a Master of his Art. He paints serious, important, meaningful and considered works, born out of solid and long experience and total control of his medium.
His work is often an intuitive and emotional canvas of his life, his loves and lovers, personal tragedies, acquaintances and the world around him. His life-long interest in the human figure inspires and informs. He passionately confronts his sitters and subjects with his amazing vivid sense of colour, superb draughtsmanship and his skills in painting either life-like or abstracted forms. He can capture the figure in super accurate details from a life-drawing or in a few fluent strokes. Some figures have no facial features, yet you know if they are happy, sad, fearful, perplexed, dynamic or static. He envelopes his subjects in colour fields which are an integral part of the composition, creating a panorama and visual essay of intense feelings and hypnotic quality.
He uniquely manipulates his paint medium to create a spectrum of saturated, opaque and translucent tones, which bring richness and emotion. His colours scintillate and dance on the canvas, creating a visual feast for the eyes and mind.
Although these works show a synthesis of influences from painters such as Picasso, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Matisse, Monet – to name but a few – Bruer is in every sense a truly contemporary artist embracing new methods and subjects. He paints about current events ranging from the horror of war to refugees, from death to beauty and even the songs of Leonard Cohen. In this respect, he challenges the viewer head-on, forcing and captivating you to look again and often – to explore every narrative, character and scene.
His other passion is the Circus at the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth and he has completed an extensive body of work there. Again, his sketch books reveal his ability to capture people, beasts, buildings and environments in amazing life-like detail and then portray them in large scale canvases and dynamic realistic or abstracted forms.
Bruer is one of our greatest contemporary artists whose works are in extensive collections here and internationally. His paintings, large and small, are monumental, enduring, intriguing and awe inspiring. His passion and vigorous paintings have sustained a large circle of collectors who treasure his work and appreciate the individuality, intelligence, quality, integrity and beauty that creates such visual pleasure and fascination.
Tom Lamprell is a gifted young artist, who can draw and paint instinctively and beautifully.
His work can be fast, fluent and furious or slow, detailed and considered.
His portraits, for example, range from a precise, accurate study of the sitter, to abstracted, sometimes dark forms with a restricted palette. His paintings of Norfolk landscapes, woods and figures are just as varied. He might draw a maze of tree trunks in precise detail or capture a bird in flight in a couple of simple strokes. Woods may show individual trees or abstracted into a riot of impressionistic colours. A painting of a crowd of people may be facially detailed or an amorphous mass, but you can read it exactly.
Tom often paints en plein air, enabling him to capture the immediacy of the moment. Sometimes opalescent colours and subtle tones can be suddenly juxtaposed to bright primaries, expertly placed to jolt the senses. The painting can be highly tactile and impasto with bold strokes adding strength and texture. Dark brooding colours also interplay with the brighter palettes. Other works may be painted in gentle, flowing colourwashes, translucent and delicate, showing the nature of the undulating land or the coast and a deft artistic hand in total control and restraint
Tom’s work pays attention to past and present works – from Van Gogh to Hockney, to contemporary art – to add to the viewer’s experience. He wants you to reach out and touch the canvas – sometimes to see and feel his work as alive, individual and vibrant or as gentle, reflective and sensitive. When he paints the land, Tom can use nature in both realistic and conceptual / metaphoric form to create inspired and original work. And when he paints figuratively, he can capture the flow, forms and folds of the figure in both a sensitive and detailed way or in a painterly and visually magnetic manner
Like Bruer, he is a painter of light and colour capturing his narrative the way he wants it and wanting you to share it. As with Bruer, Tom is his own man, the works exhibiting his own individuality. These works can be mercurial and capricious or sensuous, serious and passionate. And as with Bruer, he paints what he likes, when he likes and how he likes. Fearless of techniques or norms, they both push boundaries and defy many conventions. That’s why their works are enduring, unique and have visual and artistic integrity.
With both artists, here are all the elements that make substantially excellent art and create visual curiosity and addiction – edginess, discomfort, asymmetry but also beauty, colour, harmony and flow. And we wouldn’t want it any other way!
Bruer’s and Tom’s art demands attention and reflection. Enjoy it. Feel it. Collect it. You will look at it every day and never want to part with it.
Joseph Wang, September 2018