|Leon Underwood, The Matchbox, 1930 (private collection)|
Like a music festival, the exhibition has some big names topping the bill; we are promised Turner, Hockney, Rossetti, Ravilious, Gainsborough and more. I'm sure Ravilious would be amused (and impressed) to find himself sandwiched between Rossetti and Gainsborough.
Whether by chance or by design, drawing is also the theme of a major spring exhibition at RWA Bristol, where fifty-five works on paper from the Ingram Collection are going on show alongside the annual open exhibition, Drawn. The Ingram Collection has a vast holding of Modern British Art, and this selection, dubbed Drawing On, promises work by Edward Burra, John Nash, Barbara Hepworth and sundry other stars of the period.
Weirdly, there's a Ravilious connection with our next exhibition, Leon Underwood at Pallant House Gallery, since Underwood was teaching at the Royal College when Rav was studying there. Apparently, Underwood liked to invite the most promising students for evening get-togethers, and the Boy was one of those so invited, along with Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
Underwood is one of those figures whose influence was probably far greater than we realise. A multi-talented artist and inspiring teacher, he explored wood engraving, sculpture and painting, creating memorable, innovative work in each medium. Travels to Mexico gave him a global perspective that was relatively rare among British artists of the time.
|Kenneth Rowntree, Coronation lithograph, 1953|
The centenary exhibition at the Fry Art Gallery is a collaboration with Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, a gallery that has done more than most to promote 20th century British art. If you haven't done so before, you should have a look at their website, which offers an ever-changing array of paintings, drawings and prints by artists familiar and obscure.
|Kenneth Rowntree, Toy Boat at Selsey, 1956 (Fry Art Gallery, Artfunded)|
Meanwhile, in another part of the country... We're hanging the Ravilious show at Dulwich next week and the excitement levels are mounting. The catalogue is back from the printers and looking great - you can pre-order from Philip Wilson Publishers or from good bookshops like Much Ado Books, Hatchards or Toppings...