Sunday, 20 December 2015

Triple Bill at Pallant House Gallery

I spent a wonderful part of last Saturday visiting three exhibitions at the Pallant House gallery:
I started off by looking at the main exhibition of David Jones' work. David Jones (1895-1974) was a painter, engraver, poet and maker of inscriptions. There are 80 works from various periods in Jones' life featured in this exhibition, including engravings made when he worked as part of Eric Gill's circle, and many imaginative watercolours featuring flowers and trees.
 This painting above entitled 'The Garden Enclosed' was painted in 1924 and features Jones embracing Petra Gill, to whom he was engaged at the time, in the garden at Ditchling. The engagement was broken off in 1927, and despite this, they remained friends, and in 1931 after she'd married someone else, he depicted her as Flora, the goddess of Botticelli's 'Primavera' the embodiment of  fecundity in spring:
 It's a fabulous portrait, as is the one below, also of another woman in his life, this time portrayed in a more aristocratic pose, but also beautiful. She's Lady Prudence Pelham, painted in 1930.
 I also loved some of his landscapes, this one is especially glorious:
Edmund de Waal was influenced by the art and poetry of David Jones he encountered at Kettle's Yard while studying English at Cambridge University. He has produced a special  piece comprising white wall mounted vitrine with translucent glazing and 16 porcelain vessels entitled: if we attend, for the David Jones exhibition.
From there, I went into the old part of Pallant House to look at the 'Lost Works of Evelyn Dunbar', who was a WW2 artist who died in 1960. After her death, many of these works were stored in an attic of her son's Kent oast house and only came to light two years ago after one of her paintings was seen on the Antiques Roadshow.
 Here are some of my favourites:
Above  'Study of two trainee Land Girls' c 1940
 Below 'Singling Turnips' 1943, you can almost feel the rhythm of the women weeding the turnips.

 This is an oil sketch for Flying Applepickers 1945-46, another glorious painting.

 Above another delightful piece 'Herbaceous Border at the Cedars' 1934.
 Above the self portrait that appeared on the Antiques Roadshow, a stunning picture.
 Here's the view from the window looking towards the cathedral.
Lastly, I went into the Print Room, not knowing what to expect from an exhibition of drawings of people with their dogs by British artist David Remfry RA, coinciding with the newly published book 'We Think the World of You' which I was very tempted to buy. David started this series 10 years ago when living in the Chelsea Hotel in new York began exploring the relationship between friends are their dogs. Famous sitters include Alan Cumming, Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke.
The lighting wasn't good, but you can see how glorious they are, and you can see them more clearly if you click on the link above.

 By the time I'd looked round these exhibitions, it was almost dark.
What a brilliant way to spend a day in Chichester.

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