Current Exhibition

John Copnall


Accompanied by Edward Bainbridge Copnall – Woodcarvings

 Paintings & Sculpture

6 August – 3 September 2017

JOHN COPNALL  1928 – 2007
John’s paintings slowly evolved throughout his career.  It was not until he returned to London in 1968 after ‘painting ‘in isolation’ as he put it, in Andalucia for about twelve years, that he first saw the new work that was coming out of America.  Intoxicated by painters such as Morris Louis, he used acrylic for the first time, pouring vibrant colours directly onto large sheets of cotton duck.  By the early 1980’s he eventually re-discovered the paintbrush and, still using Acrylic as a medium, created several series of different variations in form to which he gave names such as ‘Radiences’,’ Pentacles’ ‘Orbits.’ 
The paintings shown here are all from this post 1968 period.
‘John Copnall is a painter of great integrity.  He is also a painter who has much to offer in terms of sheer visual delight’ –  Edward Lucie Smith
Bainbridge Copnall was an architectural sculptor whose work on buildings such as the Adelphi and the RIBA, can still be seen in London and throughout England.  He started his career as a  portrait  painter and was, as a young lad, apprenticed to his uncle, Frank Copnall, a well-known Liverpudlian artist.  The woodcarvings on show are selected from a collection held by his daughter, Jill Neff.  They were made towards the end of his life while he was living near Littlebourne in Kent during the 60’s and early 70’s.

The work in this exhibition is selected from Copnall’s later colourfield paintings, mostly in acrylic on cotton duck dating from the 1970’s. Having lived and painted in artistic isolation in Andalusia for over two decades, he had returned to London to be overwhelmed by the colour, energy and dimension of the work then showing in the London galleries.

The son of painter and sculptor Edward Bainbridge Copnall, he was educated at the Royal Academy Schools, and was latterly a member of the London Group.

A few of his father’s wood carvings, executed while he was living in Littlebourne, will be shown with the paintings.


You can view some examples of work in this exhibition on our Current Exhibition page.