Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich is the First Art Gallery to Reopen in London
Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich reopened to the public on Friday 12 June, making it the first London art gallery to reopen to the public since the coronavirus lockdown began
Lead image: Works by Robert Sample, Joseph Loughborough and Bael, from Triptych
The gallery, located on Turnpin Lane in Greenwich Market, is reopening on an appointment-only basis with a brand new exhibition, Triptych, showcasing new work by Robert Sample, Joseph Loughborough and Bael.
The opening follows the announcement that West End galleries, including White Cube Mason’s Yard, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Pace Gallery, Sprüth Magers and David Zwirner, have decided collectively that they will open by appointment only on 15 June.
Opening by appointment only allows for easier social distancing, and visitors to all galleries are encouraged to take their own masks, although galleries can provide them if necessary.
At Ben Oakley Gallery, which has a supply of face masks and hand sanitiser, as well as bubbly and beers, the three-man Triptych exhibition showcases never-before-seen work exploring the human figure, stripped back to reveal our common vulnerabilities and the sense of isolation we’ve all experienced on some level throughout the lockdown period.
Each artist displays three pieces, each inspired by and responding to the others’ works. Art-lovers can look forward to seeing Sample’s visceral, gritty style, Bael’s stillness and simplicity, and Loughborough’s other-worldly dreamscapes.
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Sample, who has exhibited extensively in London as well as across the continent, presents monochromatic figures sculpted in oil paint with skill that recalls the work of the Renaissance masters, with abstract backdrops made up of bold brushwork reminiscent of abstract impressionism.
Bael’s work, created using delicate line studies, identifiable marks and hints of colour, evokes haunting emotions in the human form. His aim is to ‘express something complex in as few words as possible’, and his work has been featured in international art and fashion publications.
‘Triptych showcases never-before-seen work exploring the human figure, stripped back to reveal our common vulnerabilities and the sense of isolation we’ve all experienced on some level throughout the lockdown period’
Loughborough, who has exhibited at prestigious venues around the world, creates a visual language unlike anything else, affording the viewer a glimpse into what seems like another dimension.
Adhering to social distancing measures, Triptych is available to view daily from 11am-6pm by appointment only until Sunday 28 June. It can also be viewed in the new VR gallery space, which features video interviews with each artist.