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My art week

There is always one in every class and we have our resident know-all in our British modernist course.

He identified Hitler, Churchill and Daladier in Mark Gertler’s anti-war carousel picture. The only problem it was painted in 1916.

Yesterday we studied Paul Nash. Nash was a considerable painter of surrealist style and of landscapes, often both together.

Our know-all decided one such landscape was in fact a natural study of cumulus. I can’t remember the last time I saw a brown cloud.

Our teacher animates the lesson with interesting biographical detail.

The 20th Century had its share of talented, energetic female supporters of the arts like Peggy Guggenheim.

She came from the very rich Guggenheim family, married Max Ernst, was sent to a concentration camp by the Nazis but was a constant patron of the arts into her ripe old age.

Lee Miller, the photographer and muse of Man Ray, was not only raped as a child but contracted a venereal disease in the process . Nowadays she would write a misery-memoir but she went onto become of the century’s best photographers. Gertrude Stein was a considerable collector and supporter of the arts in Picasso’s Paris. Louise Carrington, a debutante, became an artist of renown.

I finished Dark Side of the Boom by Georgina Adam. Amongst the things she lists as borderline practice is the consignment of fine art to huge storage freeports where no VAT is payable.

She says the modern dealer is as much an expert on tax as on art. Another practice is to buy up all the works of students who has won art college prizes and awards. You arrange to sell off one at auction and then the rest at a supposed discount, making a tidy profit in the process.

Colin  Gleadell  always writes an interesting column on the art world every Tuesday in the Telegraph.

Yesterday he featured another Grande Dame, Elizabeth Frink. She is in the Seago/Howard – popular but not always rated by critics – category and so-called connoisseurs mould.

A fabulous sculptress who now fetches big prices she was perhaps too hindered by her gender.

About Alice Mansfield

A graduate of the Slade, Alice has painted and written about art all her life. With her children now having now grown up and departed the nest, she recently took up sculpture. More Posts