- Published to accompany the exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
- Features 80 oils and works on paper
- First exhibition on Sutherland for over 20 years
This important book revisits a major figure from a somewhat neglected generation who dominated the British art scene in the 1930s and 1940s. Focusing on the period from the mid-1930s – when Sutherland established his identity as a modern painter – to the 1950s, when his influence began to wane, it portrays the types of work that gave rise to a widespread consensus among fellow artists and critics that Sutherland was the most exciting and compelling voice in contemporary British painting. Two particular strands of his imagery are discussed: the landscapes of Pembrokeshire and the South of France, before and after the Second World War; and the scenes of devastation produced for the War Artists scheme run by Sutherland’s great friend Kenneth Clark. The dramatic colour and lighting, and the metamorphosis of observed form in his pictures of bombed buildings, tin mines and factory interiors, struck a powerful emotional chord in such traumatic times. The book also includes sections on the early 1920s etchings and on the initial emergence of his portraiture with the creation of Somerset Maugham in 1949. There are also carefully selected works by other artists, past and present, in whom Sutherland took an interest, such as Blake, Palmer, Nash and Masson. Published to accompany the exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, opening in June 2005, this long-overdue and much-requested book (there has not been a substantial Sutherland show in London since 1982) comprises 80 oils and works on paper drawn from public and private collections throughout the UK, and it offers a selective interpretation of his painting rather than the usual career retrospective.
Martin Hammer is curator of the Graham Sutherland exhibition organised by Dulwich Picture Gallery and touring to Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham. He is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, and is the author of Bacon and Sutherland (Yale University Press, 2005).