A forthcoming solo exhibition by the artist Lincoln Seligman merges his love of India and its people with characters and landscapes closer to home
For their luminous qualities and joie de vivre, Lincoln Seligman’s paintings attract important collectors. Names of consequence include the New York Public Library, the European Parliament, Royal Palace at Riyadh, international brands Chanel, Tiffany, Laurent Perrier, Flemings Bank and Standard International Bank, and the collections of the Dukes of Devonshire and Roxburghe.
In the manner of one of his heroes, Paul Gauguin, Lincoln left a ‘boring City life’ to become an artist in 1980. Since then he has been commissioned to create monumental abstract sculpture for atriums, murals for hotels, and painted backdrops for ballet at Sadlers Wells and Covent Garden.
He has an enduring passion for India, finding new inspiration on every journey. Last year his exhibition was an exploration of Rajasthan for ‘colour, palaces and flamboyant people’ and Gujarat for ‘deserts, fortresses, and displays of textiles’. This connection with India, and with art, may have been a legacy from his grandmother Hilda, a successful artist and sculptor who lived in the Himalayas and, whilst living in Wimbledon, was close friends with Mahatma Gandhi. Her sculpture of the shepherd boy who founded a dynasty, Chandra Gupta, still stands in front of Delhi’s parliament building.
Another Indian link comes from Lincoln’s childhood immersion in the Jungle Book stories by Rudyard Kipling, his mother’s friend and godfather.
This year, however,Lincoln’s London show is based on a more idiosyncratic approach, not so much a travelogue but more time on the ground in fewer places.‘The people I’ve painted are those I have chosen, considered and analysed in more depth,’ he says. ‘I hope this makes the paintings themselves more exciting for the viewer.’
His sympathies translate into such paintings as ‘Father and Child’ and his love of the English countryside is reflected in a Cotswold landscape, ‘Dog Walk’.
On his latest Indian journey he spent days at the Udai Bilas Palace, where his friend, the Maharaja of Dungarpar, invited him to stay and paint in tranquillity. The Maharaja, a motor car fanatic, has collected Lincoln’s series ‘Maharajas at Speed’, which the artist describes as ‘fanciful paintings of old cars transporting hunting parties with a cheetah on the back seat’.
Artist: Lincoln Seligman
Dates: 14–30 May 2019
Location: Osborne Studio Gallery
2 Motcomb St, Belgravia
London SW1X 8JU
Entry: Free admission to the gallery