The exhibition brings together several of Britain’s most celebrated artists to commemorate a landmark year in British history and the gallery’s second anniversary in Mayfair. Works by Sir Alfred Munnings, L.S Lowry, Dame Laura Knight, Sir Frank Brangwyn and Sir Terry Frost will be exhibited alongside one another at Trinity House Paintings, 50 Maddox Street, 1-27 October, 2012.
The 20th century was an exceptionally fruitful period for British art with the pre and post war periods producing valuable insights into the changing face of British culture. This diverse exhibition that spans nearly 100 years of Modern British art offers a rare opportunity to view works by the country’s finest artists and is set to be a must-visit for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Of special interest is ‘Semaphore’, c.1937 (tempera on linen board, 30”x25”) by Edward Wadsworth (1889–1949), a fine and vibrant example of the distinctive and graphic imagery Wadsworth employed during 1935-38 after moving away from the uncompromising geometric abstraction of Vorticism that characterised his earlier work. In Semaphore he uses the bold lines and bright colours reminiscent of poster designs of the period underlined with a sense of humour apparent in the wide-eyed lobster.
Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) is represented by two striking portraits showing the sitters astride their horses; Portrait of “Harry La Montagne on a Gray”, 1920, a wealthy American who Munnings encountered at Derby meetings and the earlier work “Going to the Meet; Captain F.G. Chamberin and his sister on Mousehold Heath, Norwich”, 1907 – a gloriously autumnal picture of impressive scale measuring 55”x66”.
Painted c.1935 by Dame Laura Knight (1877 -1970), the oil on canvas work “Gypsy Caravans” executed after the circus owner, Carno, was forced to close down his business that provided the subject matter for so many of Knight’s iconic works. Looking for a new theme to work on fellow artist Munnings suggested she visit the races and here she began to paint the crowds as well as the gypsies who travelled from meet to meet to tell fortunes. This picture shows a meticulous portrait of Romany family
Bringing the collection up to date is a gouache on paper work by Sir Terry Frost (1915-2003), “Red, Black and White and Black Sun”, 1994. Frost, influenced by Victor Pasmore and Ben Nicholson at Camberwell College, developed his signature abstract style using blocks of bright colour from the late 1940s. He drew inspiration from nature, the sun, moon and the sea which are clearly visible in this drawing.