New English Art Club – 2018 Exhibition

Apartment 31 by Andrew Holmes

The New English Art Club (NEAC), established in 1886, is part of the Federation of British Artists and they are currently holding their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The show represents members’ work along with up to one hundred non-member submissions chosen from over two thousand entries. Member artists and the submitted works encompass many different techniques in various mediums and the exhibition provides the visitor with an interesting and diverse collection to view.

On the website, they say:

“The New English Art Club is a group of around ninety professional painters whose work is based principally upon direct observation of nature and the human figure. We aim to foster excellence in all our activities and continue to assist and encourage the art of painting to develop even more expressive possibilities.

Our Annual Exhibition is a showcase for our members and gives aspiring artists an opportunity to be seen alongside some of the best figurative artists painting today.”

Over the past 18 months, Andrew has been exploring how we assimilate the divergence of information that we receive through so many media outlets, all promoting differing opinions and agendas. These influences can include: an obsession with celebrity status, fashion, luxury and wealth, but equally, everyday needs and desires, implications of political choices or even, desperate images of natural disaster. Alongside this, we see remarkable new discoveries and extraordinary achievements. Andrew initially decided to paint a collection inspired by found pieces as backgrounds for some of his figurative work.

Apartment 31 started out as a study piece painted on paper in 2017, which Andrew then decided to submit to the NEAC as a stand alone piece. The member judges alter each year and so the work they select will vary accordingly which means that each annual show will offer a different dynamic. However, the group’s aim continues to be based on a strong appreciation for enquiry and observation and this clearly provides incentive for that further development.

Holmes – Apartment 31 76cm x 56cm – oil on paper

In regard to Andrew’s painting – Apartment 31 – he discovered that a large amount has been written over the years about the “aestheticization” of ruins. Critical studies discuss the obvious historical, socio-political points of landmark sites, with fascinating accounts documenting, for example, the fall of Rome.  Throughout the centuries, accounts of these have, in particular, ‘framed’ obsessional levels of landscaping to satisfy fashions such as the “picturesque movement” and as a consequence, follies were imagined and built to recreate this love for such nostalgia.

Now, with so many media outlets available, we are regularly being exposed to images of both natural and sadly man-made destruction – in areas of conflict and war, entire cities and their populations have been impacted. Seeing the demolished buidings, the derelict communities and the desolation of peoples lives then broadcast all over the world. This turmoil has not unfolded over decades or centuries but within a matter of days, weeks or months at most and the information is fed back with the all the immediacy that modern media technology provides. In this, lies a concern that with the abundance and regularity of such brutal imagery, our emotional responses no longer react or relate – the impact doesn’t alarm us and we are becoming increasingly impervious to these sights.

In Apartment 31, the floor levels appear to have folded in layers, leaving twisted steelwork dangling precariously and yet these look more like threads attached to pieces of card. The exposed rooms – seemingly empty of any evidence of everyday life – as the monotonous, grey concrete dust coats and flattens any traces of what used to exist or of who resided here – leaving only a barren monochromatic scene.

Andrew is currently exploring the use of employing more abstracted language in examining how this can alter our experience and our initial and emotional perception.

Holmes – Apartment 31 76cm x 56cm – detail

As our concept of these complicated socio-political issues become increasingly abstract, it’s clearer to see why modern representational art can often achieve more impact by employing a more abstracted vocabulary.

An excellent example of this is in Robert Motherwell’s abstract documentation – ‘elergies to the Spanish republic’ – where he documents his experiences of the Spanish civil war.

Levy Gorvy Gallery – 2015 Robert Motherwell’s Elergies to the Spanish republic Exhibition

Please see a link to the Levy Gorvy 2016 Exhibition, together with Stella Paul’s essay on Abstract Expressionism taken from the Met Museum’s Educational Dept site listed below.

Many well known artists, writers, poets and filmmakers have applied their craft to try to engage with these subjects, highlighting the analogous sense of the modern human condition and our fragility.

Andrew Holmes – Mia (after Lely) – oil on panel – 80cm x 60cm

Within the process of further investigating this concept, one piece Andrew painted: Mia (after Lely) – called in to the Columbia Threadneedle Selection in 2017 – included one of his generic figures in the foreground against a darkened background of rubble and collapsed buildings. Andrew has since made some additional alterations and this is now showing on the Singulart website after they approached him to list some pieces earlier this year.

Andrew Holmes -Mia – oil on panel -detail
Andrew Holmes -Mia – oil on panel -detail

The NEAC 2018 annual show runs from 15th to 23rd June at the Mall Galleries in Central London. Andrew was obviously very pleased to hear that his work had been selected and Apartment 31 is in the north Gallery, on an area of wall of other monochromatic pieces and these complement one another well. Members work can be purchased via the NEAC website, (see link below), and enquiries can be made directly to the Mall Galleries for any other pieces.

The Preview last Thursday was very well attended with an excellent introductory speech from Sir David Clementi – chairman of the BBC. The club run an active and varied education programme, they award two scholarships each year and offer continued support and valuable opportunities for artists and collectors alike.

The NEAC 2018 Annual Exhibition runs from Jun15th -23rd and to preview the work showing this year or to visit the NEAC website please see:


To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© Andrew B Holmes 2017. All Rights Reserved.





The Discerning Eye Exhibition – 2017

The selection process for this year’s Discerning Eye Exhibition is now complete and Andrew is delighted that he will have three new paintings included in the show. Sponsored by ING, this is a show of small works in various mediums and is always very exciting.

All three pieces to be included in this year’s hanging represent more of Andrew’s figurative work; an area within which he is keen to further develop fresh ideas and techniques.

Taya sketch- Oil on paper – 41cm x 31cm SOLD

It is always a daunting prospect for an artist to offer up their paintings for judgement in the public sphere. However, as mentioned in previous posts, submitting work into a show can, in fact, be a useful tool for an artist to gauge reaction, and where this exhibition differs is that the broad variety of curators also put together their own individual selections further contributing to the  show’s vibrancy and variation.

sketch 01A – Oil on paper – 41cm x 31cm

Andrew wanted these new works to be muted and uncomplicated. The more monochromatic approach of these images simplifies the decision-making process; where he can focus on the application of the paint, the marks and the tone and by using a limited palette, Andrew is able to concentrate more on the physical aspect of painting.

The Exhibition takes place in November at the Mall Galleries in Central London.

On their website, Discerning Eye says:

“The Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. […]

The selectors choose both publicly submitted works and works by personally invited artists. Each selector’s section is hung separately to give each its own distinctive identity. The impression emerges of six small exhibitions within the whole. […]

The open submission provides an unusual opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be hung alongside contributions from internationally recognised names. Each selector is solely responsible for their own selection, not by committee and are required to select at least 25% of their section from the open submission.”

Auba – oil on paper – 41cm x 31cm

This year’s selectors are:

Artists: Elmo Hood and Anne Magill, Collectors: Ellen Bertrams and Miranda Richardson and Critics: Nicola Coleby and Simon Tait.

The 2017 Discerning Eye Exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday 16 November until Sunday 26 November, between 10am and 5pm daily, at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1. Admission will be free and all the works will be for sale.

We now have to wait for the show to open in November to find out who has selected Andrew’s work for their wall in this year’s exhibition.

For more information regarding the Discerning Eye Exhibition,

please see:

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© Andrew B Holmes 2017. All Rights Reserved.






Mall Galleries – new online gallery

For many years The Mall Galleries have actively supported both established and emerging artists offering a wonderful space in Central London where various exhibitions take place.

More recently they have set up a new online gallery to showcase many of the regular contributors to their exhibitions and we were delighted to have been invited to have some of Andrew Holmes’ works included. He submitted a few paintings from his studies of bathers and dogs in water and below are a couple of examples their curator selected.

boy bathing IV – Oil – 40cm x40cm
Sunday – Oil – 50cm x 50 cm

Home to the Federation of British Artists, (FBA),  the Mall Galleries space is very well designed and in a fabulous location in the heart of Central London – situated on the Mall – next to Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square, opposite St James Park and with stunning views down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, across to Westminster and the London Eye.

The variety of exhibitions held at the Mall Galleries showcase traditional techniques along with more contemporary and dynamic works. They provide helpful advice and an informed service for collectors, together with valuable support for artists.

dog carrying stick – oil on board – 40cm x 40cm

To visit the Mall Galleries website, please see:

and to view Andrew Holmes works , please see:

For further information, please see:

 To contact Andrew:

© AB Holmes 2017, All rights reserved.

National Open Art Exhibition 2016

The National Open Art organisation is now in it’s twentieth year and is currently exhibiting the 2016 selected works at The Mercers’ Hall, City of London, until the 4th of November. The exhibition is open to the public and admission is free.

National Open Art at The Mercers' Hall 2016
National Open Art at The Mercers’ Hall 2016

This is a great showcase for artists of any age, working in a variety of mediums, to have their work exhibited in a vibrant and diverse show, selected and hung by a distinguished group of artists, critics and curators.

National Open Art 2016
National Open Art 2016


Andrew Holmes’s study – girl in black dress – had been selected earlier in the summer for inclusion in the show.

Generic girls
Generic girl in black -oil on panel -76cm x 57cm

The National Open Art organisation (NOA) is a not-for-profit charity and 5% of all sales commissions goes to ‘The House of Fairy Tales’, a national children’s art charity; NOA actively encourages and supports schools throughout the country to participate in the annual competition.


We visited the artists’ view today and were delighted to see so many people attending, to meet some of the people behind this organisation and to discover how generous and encouraging  they are at promoting new artists.

For more information regarding the pieces showing with The National Open Art 2016 please visit:

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© Andrew B Holmes 2016. All Rights Reserved.



National Open Art Competition – Winter 2016

The NOA winter 2016 LONG LIST now announced

The first round of judging for this year’s competition was held in London at The Arts Club, Dover Street, on Monday 1 August 2016. 

There are five judges for adult painting, photography and 3 dimensional works: Robin Muir, a photographic historian, former picture editor of Vogue and the Sunday Telegraph Magazine who more recently curated Vogue 100 – A Century of Style for the National Portrait Gallery in London; Fiona Kingsman, former Production Manager with independent film and television who has worked for the Tate Learning department for 10 years; Lorenzo Beleaguer, an art critic, curator and artist who’s been based in London for the last 12 years; Anna Koska, a published professional illustrator of some 25 years, together with the well know painter David Remfry RA, who has had over 60 solo exhibitions in Europe and America including exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

On August 3rd, a shortlist of 500 works was published and Andrew was delighted to hear that girl in black dress — a painting from his studies of Generic Girls —was to be included in this selection.

For the second time the Judges are inviting the world to have their say to choose their favourite shortlisted work in an online vote. The work with the most votes will then be shown in the exhibition alongside the judges’ final selections.

Generic girls
girl in black dress -oil on panel -76cm x 57cm

“One of a group of paintings obliquely examining a formal view of beauty, ’girl in black dress’ is part of this comment on the sensibilities of a secular middle class”.

The World Vote will close on the 29 August 2016 and if you would like to view any of these artworks, please follow this link:

To vote for ‘girl in black dress’:

The Winner and the Prize Winners’ names are to be announced at the Private Views at The Mercers Hall, London on October 27th and 28th, 2016.

Update – 31st August 2016

Andrew is delighted to hear that ‘Girl in Black Dress ‘ has been selected for the final show.

To visit Andrew B Holmes website, please see:


© Andrew B Holmes 2016. All Rights Reserved.


Discerning Eye 2015

The Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works opening this week.

Work for this exhibition is selected from open submission and from artists invited by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. Each individual selector curates work by their invited artists alongside the successful selected submissions. 

Continue reading Discerning Eye 2015

The Blackheath Gallery


Over Several years, a selection of Andrew Holmes works have been exhibited with  Gallerist James Corless, at the Blackheath Gallery, near Greenwich.

Continue reading The Blackheath Gallery