Mary Mabbutt

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<strong>Mary</strong> <strong>Mabbutt</strong><br />

21st May - 5th June

The following piece of writing is by Antje Southern, an art<br />

historian who studied at University College London and the<br />

Warburg Institute. She currently teaches contextual art history<br />

studies at the Royal Drawing School, London.<br />

<strong>Mary</strong> <strong>Mabbutt</strong>’s work speaks of joy and contentment, taking<br />

pleasure in the simple things of life which are the real ones<br />

after all. The current Kitchen Table series began with making<br />

marmalade on a dull January day intended to preserve a momentary<br />

stillness. In Blue Table, dishes and utensils are carefully set out<br />

to give primacy to colour. Yellow ochre, cobalt blue and venetian<br />

red pigments are juxtaposed, broken up, blended and build<br />

into tones that sit next to each other across flattened surfaces. A<br />

considered mix and nearness of yellows and blues effervesces<br />

particularly in the bellied jug with a zinging blue square in the<br />

middle. Neighbouring reds and blues fuse into purples that vibrate<br />

with the lighter blues to cause further incidents. Light from the<br />

top defines the handles and edges of the vessels as well as the<br />

contours of a sinuous figure on tip toes emanating a lightness<br />

of being. Rounded shapes re-occur and become a metaphor for<br />

a rounded and full life. What happens on the kitchen table is<br />

ultimately built by memory and sensation but underpinned by a<br />

multitude of small observational studies that carefully investigate<br />

each shape before it transitions into paint. In Carrot Soup a quiet<br />

hum of colours entice a process of slow looking. A jar with pointed<br />

utensils reminiscent of fingers, marigold gloves painted in skin<br />

pink and a pair of red ankle boots introduce a physical aspect.

Portrait with Fritillaries 2021 / oil on board / 41 x 31cm £1200

Pancake Day 2012 / oil on canvas / 122 x 122cm* £4250

Dinner Party 2011 / oil on canvas / 120 x 120cm* £4250

Red Table 2009 / oil on canvas / 122 x 98cm* £4000

Self Portrait Holding Black Paint Rag 2021 / oil on canvas / 60 x 47cm* £1500

Portrait with Grasses I / oil on board / 33 x 33cm SOLD

Blue Table 2014 / oil on canvas / 106 x 106cm* £3750

Martha’s Rug 2019 / oil on canvas / 110 x 89cm* £3750

Watermelons 2016 / oil on canvas / 122 x 98cm* £4000

Pancakes Again 2022 / oil on canvas / 46 x 46cm SOLD

A Comfortable Chair 2015 / oil on canvas / 102 x 102cm* £3750.

Study for Dinner Party 2015 / oil on canvas / 60 x 60cm* £1600

Making Pancakes / oil on canvas / 30 x 30cm SOLD

Cabinet II 2022 / oil on canvas / 40 x 33cm £1200

Composition with Grasses 2021 / oil on canvas / 76 x 64cm* £1750

Carrot Soup 2013 / oil on canvas / 122 x 98cm* £4000

Show in Miniature 2021 / oil on board / 42 x 36cm SOLD

<strong>Mary</strong> <strong>Mabbutt</strong><br />

My paintings emerge from the apparently ordinary world of everyday surroundings, the spaces<br />

and places of my life particular qualities of my lived experience. In Marco Livingstone’s book,<br />

The Alchemy of Images, the artist Jim Dine says,<br />

‘I am interested in personal images, in making paintings about my studio, my experience as a painter,<br />

about painting itself, about colour charts, the palette…<br />

…to me, autobiography is the most fascinating thing you can do because you get in touch with the human<br />

condition, and in the end, what else is there?’<br />

My series of kitchen table paintings began with small observational studies.<br />

I looked at the space, recording qualities of light, volume and depth, however I became<br />

progressively more interested in colour relationships. The large paintings I am showing at The<br />

Table were developed focusing on different colour palettes, flattening shapes and developing<br />

surfaces by both underpainting and then overpainting with flickering brush marks. For example,<br />

Red Table which was the first in the series uses different reds and opposing subdued colours<br />

of grey and green. Pancake Day balances neutral greys and subdued earth ochres against the<br />

intensity of cold and warm yellows. I had always hoped to show these paintings together as series<br />

of closely related works.<br />

The Table has now presented me the opportunity to show these paintings as a group and I very<br />

grateful to Val Harris for all her support and encouragement in the organisation and planning of<br />

this exhibition.<br />

<strong>Mary</strong> <strong>Mabbutt</strong> in her studio

<strong>Mary</strong> <strong>Mabbutt</strong><br />

Curriculum Vitae (Summary)<br />

1971-1974 Loughborough College of Art and Design (Dip AD in Fine Art)<br />

1975-1978 Royal Academy Schools (Post Graduate Certificate)<br />

1978-1979 Junior Fellow in Painting, South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education<br />

1979-2011 Tutor in BA Fine Art, University College Falmouth<br />

2005-2020 Colour Consultant to BA Textiles, University College Falmouth<br />

Visiting lecturer to a number of Fine Art courses in England /Wales<br />

Prizes and Awards<br />

1980 Ellingham Mill/ Sealink Open Exhibition<br />

1984 TSWA National Open Art Exhibition<br />

1995 John Moores Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery<br />

2002 South West Arts, Major Award (Visual Arts)<br />

Selected Solo Exhibitions<br />

1980/98 New Grafton Gallery, London<br />

1984 Plymouth Arts Centre, Spacex Gallery, Exeter<br />

1985/89 Paton Gallery, London<br />

1992/95 Paton Gallery, London<br />

1995 Plymouth Arts Centre<br />

2001 New Grafton Gallery, London<br />

2003 Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance<br />

2006 Artist of the Day, Flowers Central<br />

2007 Russell Gallery, London<br />

2010 Belgrave Gallery, St Ives<br />

2013 The Art Room Topsham, Exeter<br />

2014 Russell Gallery, London<br />

2015 Beside The Wave, Falmouth<br />

2018 Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff<br />

Selected Mixed Exhibitions include<br />

John Player Portrait Award; TSWA National Open Art; ‘Room at the Top’, curated by<br />

Waldemar Janusczak; The New British Painting, Contemporary Arts Centre, Cincinnati;<br />

John Moores Liverpool Exhibition; The Hunting Art Prizes; Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries;<br />

In the Looking Glass, Contemporary Self-Portraits by Women Artists Short Stories, The Cut<br />

Collections<br />

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York<br />

Arts Council, London<br />

Coopers and Lybrand<br />

Unilever<br />

Usher Gallery, Lincoln<br />

Bankers’ Trust<br />

Pentland Industries<br />

Slaughter and May<br />

Robert and Susan Summer, New York<br />

Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Collection<br />

Various private collections in the U.K, Europe and U.S.A.

To purchase work please contact Val Harris at art@thetablehay.com or 07956 452195<br />

The gallery offers Collectorplan, an initiative administered by the Welsh Assembly,<br />

enabling you to purchase work up to the value of £5,000 with an interest free loan repayable<br />

over a year.<br />

All measurements are for framed sizes unless marked * where the paintings are unframed.<br />

The gallery is open Thursday - Saturday 10am - 3pm or by appointment during exhibitions.<br />

All paintings are for sale upon receipt of this catalogue.

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