Last week saw the grand opening of a stunning new gallery space in Birmingham’s beautiful Mailbox complex. Castle Fine Arts have moved into the former Harvey Nichols store, more than doubling the space of their previous Birmingham gallery, and held a special launch event, giving specially invited guests the chance to take a first look at the gallery. It has to be said, it is a truly impressive space, with many brilliant examples of modern art from the World’s foremost artists.
The first thing you notice about the new gallery is how spacious it is, as well as how light and airy it is, a perfect space to display and enjoy the art. This gives each artist dedicated room, so you get a wall of Bob Dylan originals, a wall for Ronnie Wood’s renowned paintings of his fellow Rolling Stones. I also love the fact that there are also small rooms that are off shoots of the main gallery, work is displayed rooms with sofas and side tables to give you an idea of how the art could look in your own home.
There is an impressive array of artwork, and I love how the gallery carries work by local artists or with a local slant in regards to its subject matter, with reference to the Birmingham police archives in Jon Jones’s paintings of the Peaky Blinders, and paintings of the Birmingham canal system.
As a fan of Pop Art I was interested to see the Warhol’esque work of Paul Stephenson, amazing Jackie Kennedy portraits using Warhol’s methodology. Similarly exciting is the work of James Francis Gill, who is marking his first return to the UK since 1965. His Pop Art inspired work, particularly pieces of Marilyn Monroe were very popular in the 1960s, but he went into a self imposed exile in 192. Now in his 80s, his work is as important, relevant and modern as ever – a real exploration of 20th century popular culture.
Castle Fine Arts is bright and beautiful and chocked full of beautiful pieces of art. Oh, and it’s got a bar too. Well worth a visit.