After purchasing this stunning oil painting by Ethel Wright ROI, I discovered something very interesting about it which I completely missed upon first looking but has changed the whole mood of the painting for me.
Back in 1979 I received an interesting phone call which led me to Geneva to view an original copy of the complete Bible set by Marc Chagall. The owner of this fascinating collection was France’s answer to Frank Sinatra, the singer songwriter Charles Aznavour
Doreen Heaton was a young art school student at Corsham College of Art when she met and fell in love with the charismatic Polish painter, Peter Potworowski.
Peter (a veteran of the first world war Uhlan Lancers fighting against the Germans, a student of Ferdinand Leger in Paris and a member of the Capist group (Polish colourists) of artists) arrived in Britain in 1943 after the fall of Poland. In 1949 he was made professor of painting at Bath by the brilliant head, Clifford Ellis. There he worked along side the likes of William Scott and Peter Lanyon.
Within a few months of Peter's arrival Doreen had moved into his apartment and when he moved to Pickford it is assumed she accompanied him there. In the 1950’s Doreen and Peter travelled in the Mediterranean, both painting extensively. In 1958, Peter was invited by the Polish government to come back and be Professor of painting in Poznan for 1 year, but they never left, staying until Peter died in 1962.
At AM Fine Art we have a passion for 20th century British Art and we have a huge inventory of artwork to view by appointment at our Surrey gallery.
We have selected a handful of artists to feature on the website alongside the artwork of our principle artist, Doreen Heaton Potworowska. Simply visit the Featured Artists tab to explore our selections.
Last week a friend showed me an article by Lady Muriel Wheeler, a fine painter and sculptor who was the wife of the President of the Royal Academy. In it she quotes a passage as follows.
‘in his Libro Nero, published in 1952, Giovanni Papini described a visit to Picasso, when the artist delivered himself as follows:
‘In art the mass of the people no longer seek consolation and exultation, but those who are refined, rich, leisured, who are distillers of quintessence’s , seek what is new, strange original, scandalous. I myself, since cubism and even before, have satisfied these masters and critics with all the changing oddities that passed through my head, and the less they understood me, the more they admired me. By amusing myself with all these puzzles, rebuses and arabesques, I became famous and that very quickly. And fame for a painter means sales, gains, fortune, riches. And today as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich. But when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the great and ancient sense of the term. Giotto, Rembrandt and Goya were great painters. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and has exhausted as best he could the imbecility, the vanity, the cupidity of his contemporaries. Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may appear. But it has the merit of being sincere.’
I was sad to read the news of the death of Patrick George in April. I have one of his paintings in my collection, a large self portrait on canvas, executed in the mid 1960’s. Andrew Lambirth, in his excellent book on the artist published in 2014, quotes Patrick as saying ‘I was bought up to believe that painting was likeness’ and this painting exemplifies this.
John Stocks @ AM Fine Art