Chris Beetles is delighted to host an exhibition of the members of the New English Art Club. Almost all the artists have responded to an invitation to submit work, and the resulting entries showcase the breadth and variety of their work. In general, they sit very well within the St James’s galleries of a dealer who, for over 40 years, has promoted and sold traditional British art to a huge, faithful clientele.
The New English Art Club is rare among current professional exhibiting societies in maintaining its long traditions. Its members continue to base their work on good drawing, a strong sense of form and an engagement with the world around them, however personally they interpret it. As a result, the club has grown in health and success to become a relaxed association characterised by camaraderie and the best of ‘cross-pollination’.
The New English Art Club was founded in 1886 by artists who were dissatisfied with the entrenched attitudes of the Royal Academy. The first exhibition included work by George Clausen, Stanhope Forbes and John Singer Sargent. The club increasingly attracted younger practitioners, including Walter Sickert, who brought with them the influence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism and held a strong influence over the development of modern British art. Since then, it has fostered stylistic diversity, adding richness and variety to its shows.