From the late1970s to the early 1980s, Norman Rowe produced a series of gentle, hazy photorealist paintings that depicted the lawns, pathways and ponds of English gardens. He chose unusual angles from which to view his subjects. In ‘Garden with Chairs’ he focuses on a chair and a bench placed on a grassy lawn which is dappled by patterns of sunlight filtering through the overhanging leaves of a tree. By isolating the empty chairs and concentrating on the surrounding shadows, Rowe creates a heady atmospheric image in which it is almost possible to experience the scents and sounds of an English garden at the height of summer.
Norman Rowe was born in Southsea, Portsmouth. He studied at Portsmouth College of Art (1946–49) and in 1949, received a scholarship to study in Paris. After this, he studied at the Slade School of Art (1949–52). He exhibited his work in London, Manchester and Belfast during the 1950s and 1960s and also visited Florence in 1963. In 1972 Rowe won the Fulbright Hayes Award to travel to the USA. Rowe’s first solo exhibition was held in 1978 at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and he continued to exhibit his work during the 1980s with Fischer Fine Art in London. His work is represented in several collections including De Beers; the Nuffield Foundation and West Midlands Arts. Rowe lives and teaches in Wolverhampton.
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