Ben Dhaliwal in his studio

The paintings we have chosen to show here, made between 2013 and 2020, show Dhaliwal in full command of his technique and subject matter. Masks, harlequin outfits, rich robes and hangings are the order of the day, with lilies, tulips and corsets making an appearance as appropriate. But centre stage are the voluptuous rounded bodies of the participants in the charade, taking part in a rich variety of sexual activities. The symbolism of paintings like The Alembic and The Primasdorff Venus hark back to Giotto and the early Renaissance, while the painterly style is sometimes reminiscent of the Art Deco of Lempicka or the British Post-Impressionism of Stanley Spencer.

The titles of the ‘Andrea Alciato’ paintings are:
     Beneath the Library
     Black Tie
     Energy Mitigated with Love
     In the Last Room
     Lilies are Still Lilies
     Prima Materia
     Red Stockings
     The Alembic
     The Backgammon Players
     The Balance Restored
     The Balance
     The Circular Table
     The Earthly Paradise
     The Golden Coat
     The Lace Collar
     The Perfection of Silver
     The Primasdorff Venus
     The Scarlet Woman Abducted
     Tribute in the Long Gallery

After the Alciato works are some earlier surrealist paintings produced under Ben’s own name.