Introduction

Peter Pilgrim and Bruce Russell have studios in England and the French Pyrenees, drawing inspiration from the light, purity of colour, landscape and architecture of the two regions, the seasonal changes and the diversity of the Anglo Saxon and Gallic cultures.

This shared website is a new venture for both of us. We wish it to reflect our common values and enthusiasms and be part of a strategy to produce combined exhibitions of our work, and to curate more broad-based shows of contemporary British abstract painting.

Our careers have many parallels. Our formative education at art school was in a period when drawing, observation and acquisition of a rounded experience and knowledge across the art and design spectrum was considered to be normal. It gave us a panoptic grounding in all things visual as well as the intellectual foundations to make the connection between eye and brain in creating images of any kind.

 

Both of us studied Design at undergraduate level and then went on to postgraduate study, Peter at the RCA and Bruce at Chelsea. We both pursued careers as academics alongside our practice and overlapped as lecturers St. Martins in the late 1970s and early 80s.

The shift from design to abstract painting came early on for Bruce, while Peter, as a busy designer thought of his textiles as art for mass consumption and came to painting much later. He went on to bring into the realm of pure painting his interest in repeated modular pattern, shape and colour harmony and interaction. Bruce on the other hand has pursued a life-long painterly interest in sign, symbol and process through colour resolution. We have always shared a passionate belief in the ongoing vitality, relevance and potential of the visual abstract language.

— Bruce Russell and Peter Pilgrim, February 2014


If you’re interested in abstraction philosophically, in British abstract painting, or in the origins of abstraction as an artistic movement, here are some good resources:

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