Alex Russell Flint
Alex Russell Flint, Born 1974. British
The very name, Russell Flint, promises pleasure of a rich kind. From his childhood, the artist Alex Russell Flint has grown up encouraged, informed, even instructed, by the example of his great grandfather, William Russell Flint. When he was perhaps too young to know the depth of the idea, Alex was also introduced to the idea of art as seduction by the prints of Sir William’s work which were everywhere at home. One way or another, the idea is firmly lodged in Alex’s mind and eye. We are thrilled to be bringing the latest evolution of Alex Russell Flint’s work to London. In more ways than one, it comes from a special building in a special part of France.
As Alex says in his own introduction to the show: “I first came to this area of France to study with Ted Jacobs at his tiny art school hidden away in a tiny village in the Maine et Loire. It was whilst here that I visited Argenton Chateau, a village 10 miles away just over the border into the Deux Sevres department and first saw La Vieille Ecole. With it’s huge rooms, patinated walls, twisting oak staircases, wonky wooden floors, high ceilings and windows it’s a painter’s wet dream.”
The Old School seems to have been more than a moody – sometimes quite sinister – backdrop to the glamorous women he loves to paint. It gave Alex a centre of gravity. “For long periods of time I am on my own here. When friends or models come here to stay, I see them walking through spaces I know very well, and some of which I’ve decorated myself”. And sometimes, they are wandering through rooms and spaces in which the happenstance of history is littered and smudged around in a building which has had many lives, some of them crowded and some solitary.
Alex says he has found a new stability and it shows – we think – in his growing ability to explore and exploit his sensitivity and strength as an artist. He has been learning the patience which lies behind mature work. Just as Sir William did before him, Alex brings us images of a rural idyll. Both artists are unabashed in their arcadian landscape work. But Alex’s women – and he paints mostly women – are more realistic than Sir William’s. More realistic and a tad more troubled. Alex’s work is devoted to what he calls, “a pleasing sense of balance, and even the decorative”. He might have learned that from the family tradition. But he learned his modernity from his own studies, from his solitude, and from the Old School.
For many years, and from a young age, Alex Russell Flint has been an established and successful painter. Whether you have been following his development for years, or are discovering him for the first time now, we believe this exhibition will show that the artist has arrived at a very interesting staging post in his evolving career.