Vale, John Dugger 1948 – 2023
We are very sad to announce the death of the American artist John Dugger on 31 May in California.
John became part of avant-garde art circles soon after arriving in Europe in 1967. A multi-talented artist, he was an early exponent of Participatory Art and an inventive pioneer of political banner making – his iconic Chile Vencera Banner was first displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1974.
John has exhibited with England & Co since 2007 and a monograph on his career and practice is in preparation. A memorial event will be held in London later in the summer.
‘L’Ensemble’ on loan to Néo-Romantics in Paris
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Until 18 June 2023
England & Co has loaned Sir Francis Rose‘s painting L’Ensemble (1938) to the exhibition Néo-Romantics at the Musée Marmottan, Paris.
Curator Patrick Mauriès presents more than a hundred works that highlight one of the first post-modern movements and one that heralded the return of the figure. “First gathered in Paris in the 1920s, those [artists] took part in the American, British and Italian artistic scenes, creating links between Picasso, surrealism, figurative artists from the 20th century and living arts for which they designed memorable shows.”
Sir Francis Rose’s cast of characters in the painting, from left: Madame Wellington Koo, Emmy Sommermann, Russell Hitchcock, Natalie Barney, Diana Varé, Serge Lifar, George Maratier, Francis Rose, Christian Bérard, Pavel Tchelitchev, Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Louis Bromfield, Tyrone Power, Virgil Thompson, Francis Picabia, Billy Mayor. The painting (oil on canvas, 79 x 138 ins) was exhibited in 1939 at Le Petit Palais Musée des Beaux Arts, Paris.
Lynn MacRitchie’s Artists for Democracy podcast
2 March 2023
This month artist and writer Lynn MacRitchie talks about her formative involvement with the Artists for Democracy movement in London in the 1970s for the Art360 Foundation’s podcast project. Her interview coincides with England & Co’s exhibition, Artists for Democracy 1974-1977. MacRitchie recalls how she documented the AFD festival on video at the Royal College of Art in October 1974 – and how, some four decades later, she rediscovered the tapes.
Listen to Lynn MacRitchie: Artists for Democracy.
Christine Khondji and The Future of Traditions
SOAS Brunei Gallery, London WC1
12 January – 25 March 2023
Christine Khondji is among 37 artists whose work is included in The Future of Traditions, Writing Pictures: Contemporary Art from the Middle East at the SOAS Brunei Gallery. The exhibition is guest-curated by Rose Issa and Bob Annibale and explores three generations of artists, from Iran and the Arab world, and traces the creation of an alternative and original approach to modernism and contemporary art.
A selection of rare, illustrated books and manuscripts from the Special Collections SOAS Library and artists books are also included in this exhibition.
Benjamin Creme: Creative Spirit
Until 10 December 2022
Scottish-born artist, Benjamin Creme (1922-2016) is represented in the exhibition Creative Spirits at The College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington. The exhibition brings together art and photography created by 100 mediums, dreamers and visionaries over the past 165 years.
This monumental painting, Chalice is the major work of this second phase of his artistic career and was exhibited in the Hayward Annual exhibition in 1974. From around 1964, Creme’s work moved away from the modernist figuration he had practiced since the early 1940s, and his paintings merged with his philosophical interests and became symbolically abstract and totally esoteric in its meaning. Creme had long been interested in Theosophy, the study of religion, philosophy, and science, with its links to the occult and cosmology. Creme felt that his paintings had moved from the ‘sign’ to the ‘symbol’, away from his earlier figurative works. His later paintings sought to give expression to what he described as ‘that inner reality that becomes accessible through meditation’. He wrote that ‘esotericism is about the evolution of consciousness, not of the physical form’ and ‘to the esotericist, an artist is someone who attunes themselves to the vibration of reality and gives that expression.’
Monica Ross: Ghost in the Spinning Mill
Until 18 December 2022
Monica Ross: Ghost in the Spinning Mill at Halle 14 in Leipzig is the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany of British artist Monica Ross (1950-2013) who worked with video, drawing, installation, text and performance. Ross first came to prominence as a feminist artist and organiser and was co-responsible for collective initiatives such as the seminal women’s postal art event (Feministo: Representations of the Artist as Housewife, 1977). The exhibition takes its title from her 1985 piece recalling vanished industrial work in an abandoned spinning mill, paying tribute to the seldom-noticed role of female workers.
Jennifer Binnie curated by Jane England
Jennifer Binnie: From the Forest is the first exhibition of Jennifer Binnie‘s own work in her new space, a listed former Turkish Baths in Hastings. It is curated by England & Co director, Jane England, who combines recent paintings with works from her studio archive, and who writes: “These paintings are embedded in nature and emerge from Binnie’s deep sense of connection to the natural world and her intense awareness of its fragility. She says that she feels ‘at one with the forest’ responsive to the trees, the animals, the spirits she senses there. Her paintings, drawn from nature and as as varied as a Grimms’ fairytale or pagan mythology, emanate from her ritualistic belief in birth and rebirth.”
1A Wellington Square, Hastings, East Sussex. By appointment.
Harald Smykla wins the Brewers Towner Prize
24 October 2022
Harald Smykla has won the 2022 Brewers Towner International Prize for his series of works Iconoclash Press Flowers and Ovid Press Rewilding.
The biennial exhibition and prize at the Tower Eastbourne has been curated by the gallery’s Exhibitions & Offsite Curator, Noelle Collins. She says Smykla’s “convincing and direct work appeals to us all, and is highly accessible whilst remaining complex. The London-based, German artist makes images which ‘rewild’ press images, providing respite from the ‘bad news’ in the form of colour and texture … Harald’s work in particular was appropriate to our [exhibition] theme of Sanctury.”
The exhibition at the Towner Eastbourne continues until 22 January 2023.
Christine Khondji in British Museum exhibition
17 October 2022 – 17 September 2023
Christine Khondjie‘s artist book, The poet’s coat (after Hafez), is included in the exhibition Artists making books: Poetry to politics at the British Museum (Room 43a).
Exhibition curator Dr Venetia Porter writes: “Literature is a powerful theme in the display, from the tales of The Arabian Nights … to the writings of Amélie Nothomb … and the Persian lyric poetry of Hafez (1315–90), as evoked by Christine Khondjie. It was through Hafez that Khonjie learnt Persian, while living in London, and she often recites his poetry to herself.” Read more >
Watch Anne Bean interviewed for ‘Elles x Paris Photo’ on YouTube
England & Co is pleased to announce that Elles x Paris Photo has released an interview with Anne Bean on YouTube.
Elles x Paris Photo is a programmme initiated by the French Ministry of Culture, in partnership with Paris Photo and with the support of Women in Motion, a Kering programmee to highlight the place of women in the arts and culture.