Paule Vézelay/Louise Hopkins

↑ Paule Vézelay, Drawing, 1933
pencil on paper, 36 x 30 cm

Navigating between Surrealism and ‘pure’ abstraction, two dominant trends with which she was associated, Paule Vézelay developed an idiom of her own, at once highly disciplined yet poetic and human. Lines, shapes and volumes float in space or against variegated fields, with differing levels of reference to ‘reality’, shifting between Platonic rationality and emotive lyricism. Symbolism hangs in the air, but remains undefined. 

Louise Hopkins similarly finds a personal working space between idea and form, process and expression. Often made by painting over pre-informed surfaces (e.g world maps, photographs, sheet music, pierced and folded paper), her works can be eccentric, cryptic, psychologically loaded or seemingly insouciant. Pattern and decoration are central, and allusion to the language of formal abstraction in modernist art and design is a notable strand in her recent work.

Paule Vézelay (1892-1984) was a pioneering abstract artist of the 1930s and beyond, with a unique place in the École de Paris and the Anglo-French avant garde. Close to Sophie and Jean Arp, and a member of the Abstraction-Création group, she also became, back in England after the war, a distinguished textile designer. Her work was the subject of a Tate Gallery retrospective in 1983 and ‘spotlight’ display in 2017, and featured last year in Radical Women at Pallant House, Chichester. Works from the 1930s through to the 1970s will feature in this show.

Louise Hopkins (b.1965) has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2005, and as part of Generation: 25 Years of Art in Scotland in 2014, the Venice Biennale Scotland pavilion, 2007, and Unwinding the Real at Les Abattoirs, Musée – Frac Occitanie, Toulouse, 2015-16. She has recently created large-scale location-specific works such as Dance Number outside the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art and Flying Fox at the CAMPLE LINE gallery in rural Dumfriesshire. This exhibition will show mostly works from the past year.

Special thanks to Jane England of England & Co and the estate of Paule Vézelay.

↑ Louise Hopkins, Clear-cutting, 2021
watercolour and pencil on folded paper, 29.7 x 21cm

↑ Paule Vézelay, Construction, 1960
white gouache on grey paper, 40 x 37.5 cm

↑ Louise Hopkins, World Map (Clay), 2020
unique archival digital print, 32 x 50 cm

↑ Paule Vézelay, fabrics for Heal’s, London, c. 1956

↑ Louise Hopkins, State, 2016
acrylic and oil on photographic print on board, 30.5 x 40.5 cm

↑ Paule Vézelay, Two Forms and a Circle on an Ochre Ground, 1966
pastel and ink on paper, 51 x 66 cm (paper size)

↑ Louise Hopkins, Blue Watercolour, 2016
watercolour on pierced paper, 21 x 29.7 cm