Emma Geliot's picture



An historic building in Cardiff Bay is being given a new lease of life through the creation of an exciting new contemporary art gallery. For its first exhibition, Corys Pop-Up Gallery shows a survey selection of paintings and etchings from a forty-year career by the international artist, John Kiki.

In a highly modern take on medieval imagery, Kiki marries the bright lights, constant movement and artificial colours of the funfair with the tragedy and grandeur of Byzantine icons and illuminated manuscripts. Kiki s strong images use bold colours and spontaneously applied acrylic paint. The artist sometimes returns to paintings originally produced many years ago and reworks them, sometimes making radical changes.

the work of John Kiki enters with unflagging zest: here is a modern artist of originality and distinction whose hard-won vision offers new insights into the conflicting passions of the human condition.

Andrew Lambirth, October 2013

Equestrian Rider - John Kiki, 2014 Equestrian Rider - John Kiki, 2014

Kiki has happy memories of his time spent in Cardiff Bay between 1985/86 when he had his studio in the Old Post Office now known as Merchant House, adjacent to Corys Buildings. Kiki claims that the Cardiff Bay spirit certainly influenced his paintings at that time. The artist left the area with fond memories and often reflects on his time painting in Cardiff Bay. It is exciting to have Kiki returning nearly thirty years on and to see how his work has progressed as certainly Cardiff Bay has.

The show is a retrospective of Kiki s work dating from 1968, when the Royal Academy honoured him with a one-man show at their new gallery, focusing on the work of its most talented former students. The National Museum, Cardiff and the Chancery Bequest both acquired works from Kiki at that exhibition. He still has one painting from that show which is included in this exhibition (which the artist describes as a comment on Picasso s use of Velazquez).

18 March 9 April 2015Preview: Wednesday 18 March 2015, 6.30 8.30pm Corys Pop-Up Gallery: Corys Buildings, 57 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AJ

Opening Times: Tuesday Saturday, 11am - 4pm Admission free

Image at top: Cleopatra - John Kiki