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Burning Bright: The Scottish Colourists at The Lightbox

7 September 2019 – 12 January 2020

Bringing together a true blaze of colour in the work of four artists who collectively became known as The Scottish Colourists, Burning Bright: The Scottish Colourists is a comprehensive survey of paintings by S.J.Peploe (1871 – 1935), J.D.Fergusson (1874 – 1961), G.L.Hunter (1877 – 1931) and F.C.B Cadell (1871 – 1935).

The Scottish Colourists are now amongst the most admired of early twentieth century British artists. Their direct contact with French Post-Impressionism and their early knowledge of the work of Matisse and, in particular, the Fauve (‘the wild beasts’) movement – which celebrated colour, encouraged them to produce paintings that are considered some of the most progressive in British art in the first decades of the 20thcentury.

Their early appreciation of continental developments injected a modernist verve into their paintings, and in this they were ahead of almost all their British contemporaries. It is no surprise therefore that during their lifetime the Colourists developed an international reputation, exhibiting in London, Paris and New York, as well as Scotland, but since their deaths they have often been overlooked in histories of British art. However, in the last 35 years, there has been a dramatic revival of interest in their work. It is the honest, straightforward optimism in the work of the four Scottish Colourists, with their sensuous delight in colour, form and light that has caused their art to regain its popularity.

The exhibition will include over 40 paintings and drawings which represent the favoured subjects of the four artists such as still-life, portraiture, the female nude, landscape and urban scenes. In addition to the paintings and drawings, the exhibition will also include sketchbooks and notebooks by each of the artists and also related memorabilia in the form of press-cuttings and photographs.

£42,000 Heritage Lottery grant to secure archive of Surrey’s forgotten artist whose talents were compared with William Blake

A £42,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund (www.heritagefund.org.uk) will help secure the future of a unique archive of more than 800 works of art that have lain quietly in a Surrey village hall for more than 60 years.

The award, the result of a highly competitive campaign by the Sidney Sime trustees, will bring the talents of this extraordinary Victorian/Edwardian artist back into the limelight as they create a sustainable programme of funding and management to ensure that his legacy is preserved for the enjoyment and fascination of future generations.

Appropriately entitled A Gallery Resurrected, the campaign finally met success just before Easter.

Built in 1956 from the proceeds of the sale of the nearby family home, the Worplesdon Memorial Hall (www.sidneysimegallery.org.uk) houses all 800 of Sidney H Sime’s (1865-1941) artworks, as well as letters, books and personal memorabilia in his wife Mary’s possession, as a permanent memorial for future heritage, conservation, enjoyment and interest.

Subsequent acquisitions include personal letters and 36 caricatures of local men who frequented the New Inn pub nearby whom Sime drew.

A career as an artist, caricaturist, humourist, scholar, philosopher and illustrator must have seemed an impossible dream for the poverty-stricken young man from Manchester who spent his early years down coalmines, but his extraordinary imagination and raw talent led to him becoming a renowned illustrator of books and  magazines  following formal training at Liverpool School of Art.

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