Saturday, 5 May 2012

'A Walk Round the Gallery with Denys Hodson on the 30th of April

This was an event hosted by FSMAG, Friends of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, at the request of several people who had attended the Friends talk given by Denys in November.
Denys was responsible for many of the purchases of work in the Swindon Collection; and the idea was he would talk about some of the individual paintings in greater detail in the new exhibition 'They take Art Seriously in Swindon', opened by the Duchess of Cornwall recently.
Denys made a comment on all pieces in the exhibition, and although I took notes, I couldn't possibly reproduce what was said in more then an hour's looking at the pictures.
What this sort of event does though is to help you really look at pictures, and I'm very grateful to Denys for helping me with that process.
Anything written under the images is what Denys said.
Here's a selection:

 'The Dredgers, Bristol Docks' John Nash
I like this a lot, particularly the detail.
 'Bright Intervals' Edward Wadsworth
Superb colours, very attractive picture. His signature is on the blue map on the table, observed artist Caroline Keevil who had been invited to give a professional's viewpoint on the paintings.
 'Ebb-Tide on the Reef' Borlase Smart
This picture was taken to the Beehive Pub and discussed one evening as part of the Beehive's cultural programme years ago.
 'The Potteries' Julian Trevelyan
Julian married Mary Fedden and did social research in Bolton, he was engaged in 'Mass Observation' .
'Sketch of CBD with Auberbach Drawing' RB Kitaj
One of the last pictures Denys and Richard Morphet bought.
'Florestan' Gillian Ayres
Fabulous colours and texture. Gillian refused to be drawn on interpretations of this, even the title.
 'Nonny' Ronald Ossory Dunlop

 'Back of the Granary, Poland' Robert Bevan
He has done some  horse paintings as well, there's a wonderful one in the Ashmolean, Oxford
 'The Printer' Laura Sylvia Gosse
 'The Thames' Mary Fedden
Wonderful picture
'Spring in Eden' Ivon Hitchens
A bequest to the Swindon Collection. I was stunned when I first saw this painting and was alerted to the magnificence of the Swindon Collection when I first saw it.
 'Hyperion' Christopher Le Brun
Le Brun has just been voted the President of the Royal Academy.
Denys was getting tired by the time he got to the last few paintings and I think by this stage was worrying about catching a bus home.
 'Girl with a Fig Leaf' Lucian Freud
Wonderful etching, one of only ten.
 I don't think Denys commented on this last painting, but it's by Frank Quinton of the wonderful 'Mechanic's Institute' in Swindon. It's remarkable because it's the only painting in the collection by a living Swindon artist and it depicts the fabulous building in a glorious state; it does not look like that now.
Apologies for the dodgy photos with many reflections, but you get the idea of the pictures. Much more detail like dates, biogs of artists etc can be gained  by buying a copy of 'The Swindon Collection of Twentieth Century Art' ISBN1 871853 02 8 or 'They Take Art Seriously in Swindon' The Public Catalogue Foundation. and click on Museum and Art Gallery

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