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On the Chopping Block: cooks and other paintings by William Balthazar Rose

Date: Thursday 18 January – Thursday 7 March 2024
Location: Clare Hall, Herschel Road, Cambridge CB3 9AL
A Cupcake Gift (oil on canvas 30 x 42 cm) 2023 

Clare Hall is honoured to present an exhibition of paintings by William Balthazar Rose. His cooks series are typically painted on wood panels or stretched canvas, and more recently the artist has used large wooden chopping blocks which he has constructed himself. ‘The chopping block was in part a response to the economic difficulties of framing and in part a creative rebellion,’ he explains. ‘I thought my cooks seemed abject themselves, often so miserable that one then found them funny.’

William Balthazar Rose was born in Cambridge in 1961. His father Jasper Rose was an artist and one of the founding faculty members of the University of California at Santa Cruz, while his mother Jean Rose was a career painter. The couple played an influential role in the early days of the Cambridge Society of Painters and Sculptors, the organisation credited with awakening the city’s interest in contemporary art in the late 1950s and 1960s. A joint exhibition of paintings by Jasper and Jean Rose was held at Clare Hall in February 2020.

After studying art and architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and at Princeton University, William Rose worked as an architect in the U.S. before travelling to France and Italy, where he decided to devote himself to painting. He has exhibited in the UK, Italy and in the USA for over thirty years, and paints in many genres from still life to landscape as well as larger symbolic figurative pieces. He is most famous for his cooks series, however, and his 2024 Clare Hall exhibition will show a wide range of these imaginative, intriguing and often darkly humorous paintings.

The exhibition is free, and runs from 18 January 2024 to 7 March 2024 in Clare Hall’s Main Building.

View of Monte Acuto, Umbria (oil on linen, 80 x 80 cm) 2004—2011

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