ACCORDING To McGee reopens its York doors this weekend to the biggest paintings that the Tower Street gallery has ever exhibited.
York painter Freya Horsley’s solo show, Contemporary Seascapes, launches on Saturday morning in a bold statement of her artistic practice.
“These aren’t only the biggest paintings we’ve exhibited, they’re the biggest commercial paintings in the UK”, says a laughing gallery co-director Ails McGee.
“Freya has created a stunning collection. The size is not a gimmick. Combined with her evolving compositions and palette on both her large-scale pieces and her smaller works, it’s a confident demonstration of where she is as a painter, at the top of her game, and selling to collectors from all over the world.”
According To McGee’s front room will be displaying the new series, a mixture of seascape paintings depicting the Cornish, Scottish and North East coastlines, including the two large mixed-media works on canvas, Liquid Light and Turning Tide, each priced at £4,500.
Co-director Greg McGee points to the “integral optimism” of these new works. “It’s been a rough time for everybody. Loss and loneliness have been a steady drizzle on life for over a year, but things are slowly clicking back into gear, and I can’t think of a better way to reflect that than through beautiful paintings of the sea,” he says.
“There’s restlessness, depths, and enough luminosity to help hammer home our message as gallery curators at this time: nature can heal. Because of that, Freya’s art connects with collectors internationally.”
Greg delights in pointing out that Freya is the only artist with whom he has appeared on the Beeb. When BBC One’s Best House In Town featured York in its inaugural series in February 2019, Greg was among the five judges, and Freya’s art was instantly recognisable in one of the houses.
“Her art makes you look twice because it has a calming quality and, like a good sunrise, it makes you go ‘wow!’,” he says. “That came across very powerfully on TV. We have clients who watched the show in Dubai who got in touch, saying ‘I’m watching in Burj Khalifa the guy who sells me paintings and the art I like to collect most’.
“It was a very good showboat for York. We’re glad that we’re still here to celebrate the increasingly powerful art of one of Yorkshire’s most collectable painters.”
Freya Horsley’s Contemporary Seascapes exhibition runs at According To McGee, Tower Street, York, from September 11 to October 11. Gallery opening hours are: Monday to Friday, 11am to 3pm; Saturdays, 11am to 4pm, or by appointment on 07973 653702.
For more of Freya’s art, check out: accordingtomcgee.com/collections/freya-horsley