18 Aug 2010

From Sickert to Gertler: Modern British Art from Boxted House@Brighton Museum

Study from the Coutyard by Robert Bevan
This is an intriguing exhibition at Brighton Museum from the collection of Robert Alexander Bevan (known as Bobby to his friends) and his wife Natalie Bevan assembled at his Essex home. Bobby was the son of the artist Robert Polhill Bevan founder of the Camden Town Group in London (a British group of painters influenced by Impressionsim and Post-Impressiont painters such as Van Gogh and Gauguin, founded by Walter Sickert in 1911 and named after the seedy district of north London where Sickert had lived in the 1890s and again from 1907.) Bevan senior was also known as the painter of mauve horses. This exhibition shows a little of the type of styles that influenced these modern British artists in the early years of the Twentieth Century.

It is a very personal exhibition showing how the works were shown in Boxted House, which is interesting up to a point. There is an overdone quality to much of Bevan's work, still think Tate Britain has his best drawings.

Paintings by Walter Sickert, Mark Gertler and their associates may prove to be the biggest draw, but visitors should not neglect the collection’s fine works on paper, including powerful drawings by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and a Goya etching. Although Maggi Hambling remembered ‘the people and the gin more than the pictures’, this exhibition reinstates the art of Boxted House and the art of this time, to its rightful place.

This exhibition was originally shown at Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, via Gainsborough House in Sudbury. There are a number of exhibits here including postcards and letters from the trenches of 1915. The exhibition continues until 12th September 2010.

You may also wish to see the exhibition of Matthew Smith paintings at Victoria Gallery in Bath.

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