WCA Tate Britain. Walk Through British Art. July 2014


This is a quite stunning display of British Art, which for me comes alive in oil paintings in the 1840s.

One of my favourite painting is John Singer Sargent’s “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”. I became rather obsessed by the way he works the light in it. Tate describes “Sargent was able to work for only a few minutes each evening when the light was exactly right. He would place his easel and paints beforehand, and pose his models in anticipation of the few moments when he could paint the mauvish light of dusk. As autumn came and the flowers died, he was forced to replace the blossoms with artificial flowers”.

It makes me think about comparisons with one of my other favourite (autumn) light painter Edward Hopper. Hopper drew extensively as part of his practice. A large number of his drawings are detailed in Hopper. Drawing. (Yale University Press). The book also describes how a contemporary Rockwell Kent described Hopper as the John Singer Sargent of theirNew York School of Art class.

There were several other powerful paintings with light themes I was interested in an I was also introduced to the work of Gwen John

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose 1885-6 by John Singer Sargent 1856-1925

John Singer Sargent Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose 1885–6


cape_cod-300x300October on Cape Cod


Edward Hopper.  Morning Sun (1952).

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Edward Hopper study drawing for Morning Sun (1952)


Girls Running, Walberswick Pier 1888-94 by Philip Wilson Steer 1860-1942Philip Wilson SteerGirls Running, Walberswick Pier 1888–94



Liverpool Quay by Moonlight 1887 by Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893Atkinson Grimshaw Liverpool Quay by Moonlight 1887


La Hollandaise c.1906 by Walter Richard Sickert 1860-1942

Walter Richard Sickert La Hollandaise c.1906


Self-Portrait 1902 by Gwen John 1876-1939

Gwen John Self-Portrait 1902



I also looked at another of my favourite paintings Mark Gertler’s Merry-Go-Round. Again Gertler made several drawings that preceding Merry-Go-Round Gertler had hardened the figures into geometrical shapes, at times giving them the appearance of dolls. I like the simple bold pallet but overall the tone of this anti-war painting is rather sinister. At the time Gertler wrote ‘I am working very hard on a large and very unsaleable picture of “Merry-Go-Round”‘ .

Merry-Go-Round 1916 by Mark Gertler 1891-1939

Mark Gertler Merry-Go-Round 1916


Where There's Muck 1985 by Mark Wallinger born 1959

I also enjoyed Mark Wallinger Where There’s Muck 1985



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Bill Woodrow Elephant 1984


Azalea Garden: May 1956 1956 by Patrick Heron 1920-1999

Patrick Heron Azalea Garden : May 1956 1956


Study for a Portrait 1952 by Francis Bacon 1909-1992

Francis BaconStudy for a Portrait 1952


Girl with a Kitten 1947 by Lucian Freud 1922-2011

Lucian Freud Girl with a Kitten 1947


The Snack Bar 1930 by Edward Burra 1905-1976
Edward Burra The Snack Bar 1930
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Brian Griffiths (2010). The Body and Ground (Or Your Brittle Smile). 

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