John Squire’s artwork has a legacy dating back over twenty-five years. When asked at his inaugural exhibitions in 2007 ‘When did you start to paint again?’ the answer, very clearly was ‘I never stopped’. These paintings, like the man, have been the activities of a reclusive obsessive, driven to create through the primitive gesture of mark making. For much of this history, Squires gallery was the album sleeve, a vast showcase for the image in reproduction, yet the original remained a private concern.
This form of mediation brought Squires artwork and in the early years the work of American Abstraction to a vast and new audience of young music fans, in many ways Squires actions served to ‘de-classify’ modern art as the preserve of the middle classes as his Pollock pastiches became visual emblems for a cultural movement which transcended music, fashion and art.
2004 was a turning point in Squires creative career. Having released hi solo album Marshall’s House where each track was dedicated to a painting by legendary American painter Edward Hopper, the balance of influences tipped. Music ceased to take the centre stage as the drive to focus full time on his artwork took hold. Squire exhibited for the first and last time the original artwork which had been celebrated on the album covers of the past twenty years. These dual exhibitions at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), London and in a large warehouse space in central Manchester saw unprecedented audiences pay homage to a time, music and aesthetic, which Squire had been pivotal in the creation off, now laid to rest.
This period of cultural exorcism, freed Squire to focus his energies on creating an artwork, which reflected his own ideals and vision. In typical fashion he retreated to his home studio and for over a period of two and a half years exploring form, layering and tone within the canvas, excavate beneath the surface of the canvas creating sculptural forms from within the image. These extraordinary years, in short, created an aesthetic which is inimitably John Squires’ own and which, with some persuasion, was ready to be presented for public and critical attention.
The ensuing exhibitions, Smithfield Gallery, July 07, Dazed Gallery Sep 07, Signal Gallery April 08, have cemented Squires reputation as a critically respected and collectable artist with collector base around the world.