The Last Paintings: Fred Yates

27 January - 20 February 2016

"… as I have told you, with great apprehension that they

may not suit you, my latest work, still a secret, are my life


Fred Yates

Six months later, walking once more through his home in La Motte seeing the paintings for the first time, I was instantly struck by the overwhelming sense of joy that emanated from those canvases. A profound change had come over his work, a world away from the dark paintings of the previous winter. It was another seismic shift in the life of an artist whose painting had always been so profoundly entangled with his emotional state. I will never forget the bright sunlight on that day in August, pouring in through the windows of Fred’s house, lighting up the paintings, the furniture, his scarves, belts and clothes, piles of paper and paraphernalia bought in the local brocantes. Looking at the new paintings left around his home I had no doubt that in those last six months Fred had rediscovered paradise and had sung his heart out in paint. The exhilarating development in his paintings converged with the unbridled joy of freedom and Fred Yates expressed it in a final, beautiful, brilliant explosion of colour.

John Martin