The exhibition and publication No Set Rules is a collaboration between Ben Uri Gallery & Museum and Southampton City Art Gallery. Exploring the limitless possibilities of working on paper, it brings together selected works from the Philip Schlee collection of drawings, prints and paintings by artists working in Britain between 1920 and 2004, with resonant works on paper from Ben Uri's own collection.
Celebrating the richness and diversity of each collection, No Set Rules presents 51 works by 37 artists, seven of whom — Frank Auerbach, David Bomberg, Jane Joseph, Leon Kossoff, Michael Rothenstein, Glenn Sujo and Edward Toledano — are represented in both. The works cover a wide range of subject matter, techniques and practice, moving from figuration to abstraction to explore 100 years of expression on paper. Other artists include Craigie Aitchison, Gillian Ayres, Sandra Blow, Christopher Le Brun, Roger Hilton, David Hockney, Peter Lanyon, Sarah Lightman, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Tomalin and John Virtue.
No Set Rules initiates dialogues, grouping teachers, students, collaborators and strangers, juxtaposing masters of monochrome with creators of dazzling sweeps of colour to show that drawing doesn't necessarily begin or end with a pencil. This exhibition proves, as David Hockney once observed, that, “there are no set rules in drawing”.