Retreat and Rebellion

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion, Two Temple Place, London WC2, until 23rd April 2017

Duncan Grant (1885 -1978) Bathers by the Pond,c1920-21 Oil on canvas, 49x 90cm, Pallant House Gallery (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council) © 1978 Estate of Duncan Grant, courtesy Henrietta Garnett / DACS 2016

Duncan Grant (1885 -1978)
Bathers by the Pond,c1920-21
Oil on canvas, 49x 90cm,
Pallant House Gallery (Hussey Bequest, Chichester District Council)
© 1978 Estate of Duncan Grant, courtesy Henrietta Garnett / DACS 2016

While to many of us the coast or countryside of Sussex appear idyllic places to live in the first half of the 20th century avant-garde artists and writers were drawn to live there.  Their communities were experimental whether artistically or domestically.

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017 Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017
Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD
All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

At Charleston Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant not only painted but created interiors whose appeal lasts to the present day while at Ditchling Eric Gill and David Jones followed the arts and crafts tradition and at West Dean Edward James with Salvador Dali followed the Surrealist road (see my blog A Surreal Legacy, 07/12/2016).

David Jones (1895-1974) Madonna and Child in a Landscape, 1924 Oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft © Trusteesof the David Jones estate. Image courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

David Jones (1895-1974)
Madonna and Child in a Landscape, 1924
Oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm,
Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
© Trusteesof the David Jones estate. Image courtesy of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Add to this mix artists such as Edward Burra, Serge Chermayeff, Eric Ravilious, Henry Moore, John Piper, Lee Miller, Eileen Agar and Paul Nash and you will see how they individually reacted to their surroundings – some embracing and others more unsettled by them.

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017 Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion 28th January –23rd April 2017
Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD
All images courtesy of Two Temple Place and Rohan van Twest

The exhibition’s curator Dr Hope Wolfe summed it up saying: “The metropolis has long been assumed to be a catalyst for Modernism: a melting pot in which people from different places could meet, exchange ideas, and explore new ways of thinking and making. This exhibition asks what experimental artists, writers and makers of other kinds were doing in Sussex in the early twentieth century. For some, a rural retreat provided an opportunity for escape and alternative living. Enclaves were made of homes and communities, although works created in them are often suggestive of anxieties that accompanied attempts to break with convention. Others critiqued their new contexts, troubling the idea of Sussex as an idyll and sparking controversy with work created for local audiences. Comparing the lives and works of makers associated with different modernist movements, the exhibition illustrates how the regional setting both amplified their contrary energies and facilitated their attempts to live and represent the world differently. In turn, it shows how seemingly picturesque scenes were reimagined and transformed by the unsettled artist.”

 

 

Exhibition Opening Times: Monday, Thursday – Saturday: 10am – 4:30pm Wednesday Late: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 11am – 4:30pm, Closed on Tuesday

www.twotempleplace.org

Paul Nash

Paul Nash, Tate Britain, until 5th March 2017

Paul Nash 1889–1946 Equivalents for the Megaliths 1935 Oil on canvas support: 457 x 660 mm frame: 627 x 835 x 80 mm ©Tate

Paul Nash 1889–1946
Equivalents for the Megaliths
1935
Oil on canvas
support: 457 x 660 mm frame: 627 x 835 x 80 mm
©Tate

This is an extensive exhibition looking at the artistic journey of this important 20th century British artist from his early works right up until his final landscapes.  An important War Artist during the First World War he returned afterwards to depicting the coastal areas and landscapes of southern England reflecting his interest in Britain’s ancient places.

Paul Nash 1889–1946 Spring in the Trenches, Ridge Wood, 1917 1918 Imperial War Museum, London ©Tate

Paul Nash 1889–1946
Spring in the Trenches, Ridge Wood, 1917
1918
Imperial War Museum, London
©Tate

In the 1930s Nash used surrealist ideas in achieving these landscape images juxtaposing found objects with a landscape to produce an air of mystery and a dream-like quality. He also used photography in his work-practice and worked with Eileen Agar.

Paul Nash 1889-1946 Landscape from a Dream 1936-8 ©Tate

Paul Nash 1889-1946
Landscape from a Dream
1936-8
©Tate

Nash was one of the founders of the Unit One group of British modernist artists which included John Armstrong, Barbara Hepworth, Tristram Hillier, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore and Edward Wadsworth among their numbers and his contribution is explored alongside examples of other works from the group.

www.tate.org.uk

Piano Nobile

ANOTHER LIFE, ANOTHER WORLD – Paul Nash: Works on Paper, 1910-1946, Piano Nobile, 129 Portland Road, London W11, until 22nd November 2014

Paul Nash,  A Farm, Wytschaete, 1917.  Ink, chalk and watercolour on paper,  25.7 x 35.9 cm.  Courtesy Piano Nobile.

Paul Nash,
A Farm, Wytschaete, 1917.
Ink, chalk and watercolour on paper,
25.7 x 35.9 cm.
Courtesy Piano Nobile.

Thanks to an accidental fall into a trench when he was first sent to the Western Front in early 1917, Nash was sent back to the battlefields as a war artist. There he produced some of his great images, particularly in watercolour, a medium in which he was a master. It therefore comes as no surprise that he was a founder member of the Modern English Watercolour Society in 1923.

Paul Nash,  Coast of Spain (Near Gibraltar), c.1933.  Pencil and watercolour on paper,  18 x 25.4 cm.  Courtesy of Piano Nobile.

Paul Nash,
Coast of Spain (Near Gibraltar), c.1933.
Pencil and watercolour on paper,
18 x 25.4 cm.
Courtesy of Piano Nobile.

This very special exhibition, which covers Nash’s war and inter-war years, is drawn from private and public collections and allows us to see works that are not usually exhibited. Many of them are for sale. The accompanying hundred page fully illustrated catalogue (a must purchase) is written by Boyd Haycock and includes unpublished new research which he has garnered from the Tate Archives.

http://www.piano-nobile.com