GEORGE SHAW - Of Experience: Anthony Wilkinson Gallery at 3 -5 Duke Street (off Manchester Square) London W1U 3ED

21 June - 18 July 2021

Anthony Wilkinson is pleased to present ‘Of Experience’ by George Shaw – an exhibition of fourteen new paintings that re-visit the same sights of fourteen paintings made for exhibition ‘Of Innocence’ in 1999.  

‘I knew then that there was a part two coming; the ‘Of Experience’ bit, an obvious book ending and a tidy circle circled as Blake sings of innocence falling into experience at the hands of the state, of religion, of industry, of economics, of the abuses of power and also the same old human fears and anxieties as time slips by. How would the same places, the same viewpoint look years later? Not so original, not so special. The stuff of the very Common Era. But it had an old fashioned romance about it too. Charles Ryder come George Bowling come Jack Carter to the soundtrack of ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads’ and Dusty’s ‘Goin Back’. Of course none of those stories have what we might call a happy ending. And it’s less of the magnum opus my teenage self would have expected of me in my middle years. No, it’s the boring blah blah blahs of the middle aged twat in the pub going on about the same things as usual ridding the place of customers. Twenty years later sounded like a good a time as any to hang up fourteen more paintings, the same places revisited. I could even put up a banner outside the gallery like you’d do for an anniversary party in the pub. Or a wake. So was I revisiting the old place or revisiting the exhibition? I can’t tell. But it didn’t even happen twenty years later anyway. It’s now 2021 and I’m still painting the bloody things. Most of the delays couldn’t have been expected. And as usual time doesn’t pass how I thought it would pass, in a line from one thing to the next, but circling around itself over and over. The same old path, in a different direction, in different weather even, can offer up new treasures or turds to tread in.’ 
- George Shaw

This is George Shaw’s first solo exhibition in London since ‘My Back to Nature’ at The National Gallery in 2016 and follows his retrospective ‘A Corner of a Foreign Field’ at Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven US (2018) and Holburne Museum, Bath (2019). 

George Shaw’s first exhibition ‘Of Innocence, Scenes from the Passion’ took place at Anthony Wilkinson Gallery 242 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 11 March – 18 April 1999. 

A fully illustrated catalogue ‘Of Innocence / Of Experience’ will be published following the exhibition and launched in September. 

The exhibition will be open Tuesday – Saturday 11 am – 6 pm Sunday 12 – 6 pm or by appointment.