At Goldfish Contemporary Fine Art we have made it our job solely to represent the diversity of Contemporary Cornish Art. With one of the largest commercial exhibition spaces in the South West we have the room to support and explore our ethos and in turn showcase the very best of the wide spectrum of Contemporary Art produced in Cornwall today.
We firmly believe in the acknowledgement of Contemporary artists for continuing to play an extremely valid and important role in Cornwall’s rich cultural heritage.
It is our belief that in order to appreciate the strengths of Contemporary Cornish art it is useful to understand the history of art in Cornwall and in particular that of the famous Newlyn and St Ives schools. In our opinion the generation of myth has played its part in each wave of successful artistic movements to come out of the county. From the first artistic visitors to arrive in the form of Whistler and Turner, through to Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the 20’s and 30’s and after to the likes of Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, the course of time has grouped many artists with such individual visions into wider movements and this has been as misguiding as it has been instructive. Among these leading lights there were many important artists who played their part in the unfolding story of art in Cornwall but through not being easily placed in groups alongside these other artists their legacy has been obscured as they have sat a little outside of the accepted chronology of events.
The now legendary story of how Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood spied through a narrow doorway the intimate and naive sea fairing pictures of Alfred Wallis nailed through their boards to the walls of his St Ives cottage acts to illustrate the key values of Cornish art. The power of one man’s honest and intuitive view of the world around him was so striking to these young artists with their heads full of European artistic fashion that they and others around them imitated his naïve style in their own paintings for years to come. As of late their works has been the first choice as gifts for major wedding anniversaries. These two artists could see the value of Wallis’ work which had been created with no regard for the prevailing artistic fashions of the time; his paintings were created because they had to be made. Such endeavour outside of the mainstream can be witnessed in the best of the Contemporary art produced in Cornwall today.
We believe that such principles are increasingly rare in the prosaic art world today and it is crucial that we appreciate and embrace such vital qualities. We are proud to be at the forefront of representing such diversity and helping to continue the chronology of Cornish art.
The gallery is ideally located in the heart of Historic Chapel Street, Penzance. In Penwith, Cornwall. An area of Cornwall with an incredible artistic heritage, providing refuge to many of the leading figures in 20th Century British Art including; Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo, Bernard Leach, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, John Wells, Sven Berlin, Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, Denis Mitchell, Bryan Wynter, Peter Lanyon, William Scott, Alan Davie, Victor Passmore, Adrian Heath, Paul Feiler and Roger Hilton among many others. And of course the Newlyn School of Painters which included Stanhope Forbes, Walter Langley, Edwin Harris, Ralph Todd, Leigh Suthers, Henry Scott Tuke, Alexander Chevallier, Thomas Cooper Gotch, Elizabeth Armstrong, Norman Garstin and Dod Proctor among others
The Gallery now represents many of the leading lights of Contemporary Cornish Art, including; Andrew Litten, Kenneth Spooner, Tim Shaw, Ivan Bray, Zoe Cameron, Joy Wolfenden Brown, Simon Allen, Andrew Lanyon, David Briggs, Ray Exworth, Alex Smirnoff, Paul Wadsworth, Tony Lattimer, Jesse Leroy Smith and Paul Benyovitz to name a few.
We are within easy travelling distance of The Tate Gallery, St. Ives and The Newlyn Art Gallery, and within walking distance of Penlee House and its Newlyn School collection.