The Mayor Gallery is presenting an exhibition of works by John Golding (1929 – 2012) from a remarkable period of his career. Although Golding was a distinguished abstract painter, he is probably more famous as an art historian, critic and curator. His paramount success in the field of art history has tended to overshadow his achievements as an artist, but it was on the latter front that Golding based his career and for which he wished to be remembered. He enjoyed considerable success as a painter, exhibiting both nationally and internationally throughout a career that spanned over half a century. As an artist, he is perhaps best-known for his large canvasses of the 1970s and beyond, many of which are held in esteemed public collections. These works are carefully constructed works of lyrical abstraction, they exude colour and radiance, dynamism, and expression. Given these brightly hued celebrations of abstract painting, it is surprising to consider the anguished nudes and nuanced darkness that characterise Golding’s early work, a time heavily influenced by his background in Mexico.
‘Only Human’ presents a group of oil paintings and smaller works on paper that explores this extraordinary period of transition, with its undertones of sexuality and investigations into the ambivalence of the human body.