Cross Gate Gallery is presenting a retrospective of works by artist Peter Howell as part of their annual exhibition at Fasig-Tipton's Humphrey S. Finney sales pavilion in Saratoga.
British-born Howell first started exhibiting in Saratoga in 1978, over forty years ago. Of his early years there, Howell recollects, “it was all new to me and of course there was endless material there… You can't take it in all in one trip. The weight of history is evident everywhere—from the Victorian houses down Union Avenue to the racetrack. It was really most enjoyable.”
Howell was first exposed to racing at an early age and was immediately “hooked.” He spent his school holidays at the Newmarket stables of the Honorable George Lambton. Once he'd finished school, Howell had to choose between going to art school and pursuing a career in racing. He chose racing.
Soon he was working for trainers and riding in jumping races. After he went out on his own as a trainer (with the help of a very snowy winter), Howell started to wish he'd gone to art school instead of into racing.
Though he had no formal artistic training, Howell left the racecourse in 1969 and quickly established a reputation in art. Howell drew inspiration from French Impressionists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas but painted scenes he was very familiar with after years working in racing. Stella Walker, a leading historian on British Sporting Art describes Howell's work in saying “to the knowledgeable it was at once apparent that here was an artist whose style attractively diverged from the traditional but, nevertheless, captured with authenticity the excitement and fascination of the racing world.”
Cross Gate Gallery has represented Peter Howell since 1991. Howell describes it as “a long and happy relationship. Greg [Ladd] is enormously enthusiastic and it's really quite inspiring. Cross Gate exposes artists to a very wide public that almost no other gallery can do. Their show in Saratoga is one of the few places in the world where you have a captivated public that's interested in the subjects we artists love to paint.”
This year, Cross Gate is presenting over 20 pieces by Howell dating from the early 70s to this year.
The exhibition will run from August 2 – August 13 in the Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion at Fasig- Tipton. 153 George Street, Saratoga Springs, NY
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