Julian Bailey–A very British European

Last year I spent some time in the company of the painter Julian Bailey. On entering his home and attached studio space I had the pleasure of seeing his drawings and paintings sitting contentedly together, cheek by jowl. Julian is about to show again at Browse and Darby from September 18th – October 11th, 2013. His works are masterful evocations of people and place that at once have a peculiar British rigour and European vitality. Never sentimental they are rooted in a feeling for particular landscapes realised through bold, but not aggressive, paint-handling. The paint is caressed rather than bullied and though the marks of the artist's journey are evident through scraping back and over-painting Julian's work reaches satisfying cohesion. His drawings are spare but never mean or empty and his paintings both draw you into their space but hold you at an admiring distance. For example, a conversation at a table conveys the intimacy of friends whilst the sheer power of colour and painterly planes arrest your eye on the surface materiality.