Somerville Gallery and the Coronavirus

Due to the current Coronavirus situation we have taken the sensible precaution to suspend formal opening hours of the Somerville Gallery in Otley. Whilst the foot count of visitors is usually not very heavy in a concentrated fashion, the nature of the screen panelling is such that close contact with other people is inevitable.

Should anyone wish to visit the Gallery we are quite happy to accommodate by appointment only for the time being.

By telephoning Ian or Jayne directly at the studio in Burley in Wharfedale : 01943 864349 arrangements can be made to suit most circumstances.

Ian will work solely from the studio for the time being.

We will keep the website updated with news as it develops and please don’t forget that most products can be distributed on line.

Cubism Explained

Cubism was developed between about 1908 and 1912 in collaboration between Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Their immediate influences are said to be Tribal Art (although Braque later disputed this) and the work of Paul Cezanne. The movement itself was not long-lived or widespread, but it began an immense creative explosion which resonated through all of 20th century art.

The key concept of Cubism is that the essence of objects can only be captured by showing it from multiple points of view simultaneously.

Cubism had run its course by the end of World War I, but among the movements directly influenced by it were Orphism, Purism, Precisionism, Futurism, Constructivism, and, to some degree, Expressionism

Delaunay was fascinated by how the interaction of colours produces sensations of depth and movement, without reference to the natural world. In ‘Simultaneous Contrasts’ that movement is the rhythm of the cosmos, for the painting’s circular frame is a sign for the universe, and its flux of reds and oranges, greens and blues, is attuned to the sun and the moon, the rotation of day and night. But the star and planet, refracted by light, go undescribed in any literal way. “The breaking up of form by light creates coloured planes,” Delaunay said. “These coloured planes are the structure of the picture, and nature is no longer a subject for description but a pretext.” Indeed, he had decided to abandon “images or reality that come to corrupt the order of colour.”

The poet Guillaume Apollinaire christened Delaunay’s style “Orphism,” after Orpheus, the musician of Greek legend whose eloquence on the lyre is a mythic archetype for the power of art. The musicality of Delaunay’s work lay in colour, which he studied closely. In fact, he derived the phrase “Simultaneous Contrasts” from the treatise On the Law of the Simultaneous Contrast of Colours, published in 1839 by Michel-Eugène Chevreul.

Absorbing Chevreul’s scientific analyses, Delaunay has here gone beyond them into a mystical belief in colour, its fusion into unity symbolizing the possibility for harmony in the chaos of the modern world.