Wednesday, 10 August 2016

"I am on the side of angels and dirt" - Stanley Spencer art exhibition!

Stanley Spencer - The Lovers (The Dustman)

A major survey exhibition of one of Britain’s best loved painters, Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), is currently on show at The Hepworth Wakefield from Sat 25 June - Wed 5 October. Presented during the 125th anniversary of Spencer’s birth, the exhibition brings together over 70 works spanning his entire career, including rarely-seen self-portraits and extracts from his diaries and writings offering a unique insight into his life and work.

The exhibition takes its title from Spencer’s proclamation “I am on the side of the angels and dirt”, and will bring together self-portraits, landscapes, portraits and paintings – some of which, may need an “over-18 only” warning – created for his unrealised dream of the Church House that would illuminate his own singular spiritual beliefs, including chapels celebrating all the women in his life.

The arrangement of the paintings allows visitors to view bodies of work that he created throughout his life as a whole, such as his landscape paintings, including views of his beloved hometown of Cookham, and his series of portraits of people close to him, including a number of depictions of his second wife, Patricia Preece. The exhibition will also examine the lifelong influence that early Italian Renaissance paintings by such artists as Botticelli, Fra Angelico and Giotto had on Spencer’s work, with a significant loan from the National Gallery, London.
Stanley Spencer (1891-1959)
 Stanley Spencer fans and collectors include the late David Bowie, who narrated the BBC Omnibus Special about the painter in 2001. Spencer was among Bowie’s favourite British artists. Adam Ant (born Stuart Goddard) spent summer holidays in Cookham and grew up being inspired by the painter, who he calls his "favourite artist of all time"; Andrew Lloyd Webber, who owns several works by Spencer and considers both Stanley Spencer and Francis Bacon as two of the greatest British painters of the twentieth century as well as British sculptor Anthony Gormley, broadcaster Jon Snow and art historian James Fox, who recently became President of the Friends of Stanley Spencer Gallery.

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