Recent articles

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The Sutherland bequest: Alexander Adams pursues his original inquiry into the future home of an important gift to the nation

An article about Graham Sutherland’s bequest of art to Wales (The Jackdaw, no. 90) raised a number of points which further research has – partially – answered. To recap: Sutherland donated work to a purpose-formed Graham Sutherland Trust (the “Trust”) in 1976, which displayed the art in a gallery housed in Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire. When the cost of maintaining the […]

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Jenny saville and the theatre of self-importance: Alexander Adams examines the reputation of one of the original young British artists

Most YBAs achieved prominence by recasting genuine avant-garde art in a palatable commercial form, influenced by advertising and pop culture, and served up to a credulous public largely ignorant of the original sources of the art. (Something Julian Stallabrass discusses in his book High Art Lite.) Jenny Saville was seen as one exception by virtue of the facts she studied […]

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Radical Classicist: Alexander Adams visits the museum dedicated to Surrealist painter Paul Delvaux (1887-1994)

If you have heard of Belgian painter Paul Delvaux (1897-1994) then it is likely to have been in connection with Surrealism. He gets a couple of illustrations in thematic surveys of Surrealism, rarely more. Unless you locate a specialist publication on the artist, it is hard to get an overview of his development. Delvaux is poorly represented in British public […]

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The Belgian Blake: Alexander Adams visits two little-known artist-museums in Brussels, the Musées Wiertz and Meunier

The house-museums of two Belgian masters of the 19th Century shed light on artistic and social concerns of the era. As case studies they exemplify dominant thematic trends in both halves of that century – Romanticism in the first half and Realism in the second. Antoine Wiertz (1806-1865) was born to an impoverished family in Dinant, Wallonia (later Belgium). After […]