Notting Hill's Muse Gallery offers the opportunity to see a remarkable group of paintings by David Piddock in London for the first time. 'Unseen', until now, because they were excluded from an exhibition on the premises of a City institution, last year, in a bizarre act of censorship that was duly reported in Private Eye Magazine.
'Unseen', also, in the sense that they are a semi-fictional take on London. Imagery is often plundered from the past to inform the present. So anything from a small terracotta maquette to a monumental Canova sculpture might materialise in unexpected places like London's Embankment or the riverside adjacent to the City. There are rarely specific stories in these paintings however, so the spectator is left to wonder at their enigmatic quality, curious juxtapositions, and engaging blend of fact and fiction. Innovative spatially as well, their perspective varies from conventional to 'mirror image'. Often bathed in strong light and deep shadow, they always have an evocative quality and vary in mood from playful to unsettling. Visually they read like a contemporary take on Piero della Francesca - strong surface pattern, carefully judged intervals and restrained detail with a broader description of form.