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Bill Jacklin APRIL 2016

An Englishman in New York

‘[In New York] I found my subject. It was a conduit for me to experience all those things that excite me. When I first arrived, every street corner I went round I found something. New York, for want of a better word, is my muse.’ – Bill Jacklin 

Bill Jacklin’s work is a celebration of the magnificence of New York City. He has dedicated the last three decades to painting ‘urban portraits’ of New York in all its moods and tempers, guises and glory – from large canvases of crowds in flux to intimate moments of Seurat-like etchings.   

His paintings are never static: they present a living, breathing moment snatched from the endlessly variable world of New York. The hazy eroticism of Dancers 42nd Street; the fresh summer brightness of Sheep Meadow III; The Battle, Tompkins Square where protestors clash with police and the air is ripe with tension. His series of paintings of Coney Island, where the smell of salt leaks off the page; his depictions of New York Stock Exchange, which are saturated with colour and wealth and hunger. Snow, Times Square II where the viewer feels the bite of the wind, the crunch of snow underfoot, the nibble of cold on exposed fingers. Hot Legs, Times Square: a glorious conflagration of consumerism, dance and music. The peace of Double Road With Birds. All of his paintings capture the heartbeat of the city, ensnaring and tantalizing the viewer. 

Bill Jacklin’s New York is the first full treatment of Jacklin’s New York paintings. Featuring an introduction by Sting, who is a fellow Englishman in New York, and an insightful interview with the artist by the art historian Michael Peppiatt, this new publication will be a significant contribution to the study of this internationally acclaimed artist, and serve as an enduring love letter to New York. 

Scala is publishing Bill Jacklin’s New York to coincide with Bill Jacklin’s forthcoming solo shows. He will be presenting his work at Marlborough Fine Art, London, 6 May – 7 June, and at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 3 June – 28 August.