Overview

‘I am not a painter of ideas, I am a painter of direct visual experience’

Sargy Mann (29 May 1937-5 April 2015) was one of the most extraordinary British artists of his generation. Both a landscape and figurative painter, his diverse works are recognisable by their bright colour palette and focus on light. Although deeply influenced by Cézanne and Bonnard, his paintings attain a remarkable originality, demonstrating painting after painting that an impressionist style, supposedly superseded by the forward thrust of modernity and postmodernity, retained great validity. Mann was always interested, both from an artistic and scientific perspective, in the perception of light and colour as a subjective phenomenon. His paintings capture this desire to represent an experience of light and space in two-dimensional form. 

Later in life, his sight began to progressively worsen. Undeterred, Mann continued to find new ways of seeing and interpreting his experience of light and space. In this period of his life he sought out brighter light qualities in India and Spain, his ‘Cadaques’ paintings were the first he made after losing his sight completely in 2005. Using dictaphones, blue tac and touch to aid his artistic practices, Mann continued to paint, translating touch and memory into artworks. As someone who had always been preoccupied with the subjectivity of sight, he was now unbound, able to elevate his lifetime of looking to a new experience.

 

‘The paradox was that now that I had no perceptual experience of light or colour, I was free to use colour completely intuitively in order to express whatever experience I did have’ 

 

Trained at the Camberwell School of Art, Sargy Mann was greatly influenced by his teachers Dick Lee, Frank Auerbach and Euan Uglow. The scenes of his subsequent years can be found in his paintings; from Regent’s Park and Lemmons House to Suffolk and India. Mann began exhibiting his works with Cadogan Contemporary in 1987, completing eighteen exhibitions with the gallery overall.

 

Exhibitions
Works
Publications
Video
In the last months of his life Sargy was working on a TED talk which he was due to give, 'More, Different, Better'.



Sargy Mann | Light and Space
Biography
Education and Professional Experience
1937   Born in Hythe, Kent
1943-53   Darlington School
1953 -58    Oxford Technical College
1960-64   Camberwell School of Art and Crafts
1967              Postgraduate, Camberwell School of Art and Crafts
1969-88       Teaching, Camberwell School of Art and Crafts
1969-88       Teaching, Camden Arts Centre
1994             Co-Curator for ‘Bonnard at le Bosquet’ at the Hayward Gallery, London and Laing Gallery, Newcastle
1996-97       Lecturer at Verrocchio Art Centre, Italy
1999-08      Visiting Lecturer at the Prince’s Drawing School
2007            ‘In Touch with Art’, Victoria and Albert Museum London

 

Selected Exhibitions
2019   'Late Paintings', Curated by Chantal Joffe, Royal Drawing School, London
2000/1995           Hunting Art Prizes Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London
1995            Royal Academy Summer Show, London (shown previously  1987-1990; awarded Daler Rowney Prize in 1998)
           Ernst & Young Exhibition
1992             Discerning Eye, Collector’s Choice, Mall Galleries
1989             Director’s Choice at New Academy Gallery/Business Art Galleries
            Ken Howard’s Choice at the Arts Club, London
1987-89       South Bank Centre, Touring Exhibition ‘Past and Present’
    Arts Council Touring Exhibition, ’The Experience of Landscape’ Touring Exhibition
1983-85      Upper Gallery, Royal Academy, London
1983            Hayward Annual
            Spirit of London, South Bank, First Prize
           6th International Drawing Biennale
           Spirit of London, South Bank, Second Prize
1975             2nd International Drawing Biennale, Second Prize

 


 

 

Press