I cannot disagree with the negative review posted by Francesca on the above exhibition – Gilman review – even though warm interiors in the style of Eduard Vuillard and Gilman’s mentor Walter Sickert are definitely my bag.
The problem is that there are several Sickerts in the permanent collection as well as Graham Sutherlands, pop artists Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton, abstractionists Terry Frost and Keith Vaughan, Patrick Caulfield – a particular favourite of mine for his bold and vivid blocks of colour – and an Ivan Hicthen.
Francesca did not mention that he caught the Spanish flu whilst caring for fellow artist and member of the Camden Group Charles Ginner. Ginner survived. He did not.
He also had one leg shorter than the other and failed the conscription board interview. Both his brothers were decorated for valour in the Boer war and this was a rejection that affected him deeply.