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Posts Tagged ‘Bloomsbury art’

The Vanessa Bell exhibit at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first to feature Bell in a solo exhibit, is in its final days. But you can still get a look at it, whether you live in London or not.

Via the gallery

If you can, book your tickets before the exhibit ends June 4. However, if you can’t be there in person, you can visit the exhibit several ways.

Via the video

First, watch all or some of the series of videos on the exhibit. In this final Vanessa Bell video, co-curators Ian Dejardin and Sarah Milroy plant themselves in the last room of the exhibition to discuss the significance of Bell’s depiction of womanhood and reflect on one of her last self-portraits.

Via the catalogue

Second, buy the exhibit catalogue. I assure you it is breathtaking. When I first opened my full-color paperback version, I thoughtlessly wondered, “Which of these gorgeous paintings are Vanessa’s?” I quickly realized — all of them are. In the exhibit, as in the catalogue, Vanessa is permitted “to speak entirely for herself,” which Dulwich director and exhibit co-curator Dejardin notes in the catalogue preface that she has never before been allowed to do.

The catalogue’s 202 pages, along with the flyleafs and front and back covers, are filled with Bell’s art, along with photographs of the artist and Charleston, the Sussex home on which she lavished so much love and art. Many of her paintings — from her portraits to her abstracts — are reproduced in full-page format.

Besides Dejardin’s preface, it also includes background on Charleston and its artists. Author and exhibit co-curator Sarah Milroy discusses Bell as artist, mother, and feminist and puts the entirety of Bell’s life in an historical context. Hana Leaper expands upon that with her chapter, “Between London and Paris.” And Frances Spalding adds Virginia Woolf to the mix with her chapter on “Vanessa, Virginia and the Modern Portrait.”

Speaking of Spalding, a new edition of her biography of Woolf was released last year. The book was first published in 1983 and offers a fascinating and well-researched look at Bell, as well as other members of the Bloomsbury group. But one would expect nothing less from Spalding.

Via the shop

You can also shop the look, as I did. I went online and ordered some lovely items that promised to add the Bell look to my home. But whether they keep their promise or not, they are beautiful, they were shipped across the pond promptly, and I am enjoying them. Some of the items are sold out, but there are still a few available.

I was also excited to hear from Cecil Woolf that Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and the Great War, Seeing Peace Through an Open Window: Art, Domesticity & the Great War, my monograph on the two sisters that he published last year as part of his Bloomsbury Heritage series, is for sale at the Dulwich exhibit.

Items I purchased online from the Dulwich Picture Gallery Vanessa Bell exhibit.

 

 

 

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This is a wonderful piece that puts Bloomsbury art in the social, political and cultural context of the 1920s-1930s.

The Charleston Attic

There was one item in the Gift this week which particularly caught our eye, as it documents two different aspects of Duncan Grant’s life as an artist; his creative style and his status as a member of the British art world.

CHA-P-1415-R_red

CHA-P-1415 Recto: Duncan Grant, drawing, nude woman carrying a basket, ink on paper, 20.1 cm x 14.1 cm. Photograph © The Charleston Trust

On one side of this postcard-sized piece of cream card is an ink drawing of a bare-breasted woman carrying what appears to be a basket of flowers. While there is no annotation or attribution accompanying the drawing, the classical theme and stylised figure suggest that it was made by Grant, possibly as a study for a decorative scheme. For example, it is reminiscent of the figures in Grant and Bell’s large interior painting of 1929 for Penns in the Rocks, the home of the poet, Lady…

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