Paul Cezanne: Drawings | Tess Jaray: Roundels

10 - 30 September 2020
  • Just months before he died, Karsten Schubert decided to rent a mid-eighteenth-century third-floor apartment just next door to our present headquarters in Lexington Street, Soho. He called it Room 2. Mostly unchanged in the 270 years since it was built, its decor was suitably distressed, with exposed floorboards bowing inwards towards the centre of the flat like a shallow bowl. Only a lick of paint was needed to form the right balance of contrasts between old and new. The apartment had two rooms: one with cold light that entered from a small, north- facing sash window and a second, larger room that received its warm, yellow light from the south through two windows. This brighter space was designated by Karsten for those of us at the gallery to use as a viewing room. The smaller room was to be a refuge for Karsten; an escape from the office next door for some quiet and darkness and to enjoy the company of one or two little Cezanne drawings on the wall, with a daybed so that he could take afternoon naps as his illness progressed.


    I met Tess Jaray (b. Vienna, 1937) for the very first time at Claridge’s during a launch party for Room 225/6, Karsten’s short memoir written during his recovery from his first operation for cancer in 2014. He had, before then, been having moments of mania, but with the book published he was calm and happy, and there was a sense of relief among those close to him that it was finally complete. The much-anticipated party was well attended and lively, and I welcomed the conversation with Tess, who was friendly and engaging amidst a crowded and noisy room. She invited me to her studio: I had always very much admired her paintings, and now, encountering her fierce wit and resolute charm, I knew I wanted to work with her. With my subsequent visit to the studio, it was a fait accompli.


    With three of our Paul Cezanne drawings due to be returned at the end of the summer from Manchester, where they had been in the exhibition Cezanne at the Whitworth, it made sense to show them again in London within the intimacy of Room 2, as Karsten had wanted. We decided to pair Cezanne’s drawings with new paintings by Tess Jaray, who is a great admirer of his work: two artists in two rooms, both intimate and yet contrasting, the figurative with the linear, the past with the present.


    Paul Cezanne: Drawings | Tess Jaray: Roundels  is our third exhibition in Room 2. Built in 1752, Room 2 is Karsten Schubert London’s current exhibition space and viewing room. Our two previous exhibitions staged here were Air Signs: Brian Griffiths and Frank Kent and The Covering: Cathie Pilkington, Pierre Molinier and Morton Bartlett.


    Tess Jaray has been invited to exhibit her recent series of paintings based on the work of Piero della Francesca at The New Art Centre, Roche Court, Wiltshire, in January 2021; and new paintings in a solo exhibition at the Secession, Vienna, in February 2021.

  • The three Cezanne drawings exhibited here have just returned from Cezanne at the Whitworth, a major exhibition celebrating the late art dealer, writer and publisher Karsten Schubert's (1961–2019) significant bequest of Cezanne drawings to the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.  The drawings comprise a portrait of Victor Chocquet, one of Cezanne’s most avid collectors and supporters, a tender study of the artist’s young son asleep, and an exuberant preparatory drawing for Five Bathers, once in the collection of Drue Heinz. Also included are four original letters by Cezanne, including correspondence with Camille Pissarro and Gustave Geffroy, the art critic whose well-known portrait by Cezanne is now part of the Musée D’Orsay collection.


    This intimate display of Cezanne drawings is paired with new roundel paintings by Tess Jaray, one of Europe's most influential abstract painters and a great admirer of Cezanne. These roundels mark a significant departure for the artist, whose work has investigated painterly perspective and colour for over five decades. Karsten Schubert London is delighted to show Jaray's latest, ground-breaking paintings in anticipation of her forthcoming solo exhibition at Secession, Vienna in February 2021. 

  • Cezanne at the Whitworth Cezanne at the Whitworth Cezanne at the Whitworth Cezanne at the Whitworth Cezanne at the Whitworth

    Published by Ridinghouse, this book accompanied the exhibition Cezanne at the Whitworth at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (24 August 2019–1 March 2020) and celebrates an extraordinary collection of drawings and prints by Paul Cezanne that was gifted and placed on long-term loan to the Whitworth by gallerist, collector, author and founder of Ridinghouse Karsten Schubert. 


    With a lead essay by renowned Impressionist scholar Richard Thomson on the significance of the bequest to the Whitworth’s collection of nineteenth-century drawings, a biographical essay on Schubert by Richard Shone, an interview of Karsten Schubert by Yuval Etgar on the bequest, and an essay by Christopher Lloyd on how these works relate to Cezanne's output as a draughtsman. The publication also includes a detailed catalogue section on all works in the exhibition with contributions by Elizabeth Cowling, Rosalind McKever, Colin Wiggins and Edward Wouk. 

  • Viewings by appointment

    Paul Cezanne: Drawings | Tess Jaray: Roundels is available to view by appointment in Karsten Schubert London's Room 2. Click to arrange a viewing.