This summer Chester Art Centre has brought artwork by the legendary Graham Sutherland to Chester. The exhibition will run between Tuesday 14 July and Sunday 30 August 2020. The exhibition is in the Chapter House of Chester Cathedral.
Graham Vivian Sutherland (Order of Merit) was an English artist who is notable for his work in glass, fabrics, prints and portraits. Graham Sutherland was born in 1903 in Streatham. He attended Epsom School and then studied art at Goldsmith’s School of Art (1921-26) where he quickly became a highly skilled etcher. Printmaking, mostly of romantic landscapes, dominated Sutherland’s work during the 1920s. He developed his art by working in watercolours before switching to using oil paints in the 1940s. It is these oil paintings, often of surreal, organic landscapes of the Pembrokeshire coast, that secured his reputation as a leading British modern artist. In his work Sutherland developed an interest in natural forms of growth such as tree roots and thorn bushes which he often depicted in close-up or from foreshortened viewpoints. These organic growth formations, which remained central to Sutherland’s work throughout his career, often appeared menacing or threatening with their hints of human or animal like characteristics. Sutherland taught at different art colleges, notably at Chelsea School of Art and at Goldsmiths College, where he had been a student. He served as an official war artist in the Second World War drawing industrial scenes on the British home front. Such was Sutherland’s standing in post-war Britain that he was commissioned to design the massive central tapestry in the new Coventry Cathedral, Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph. As an official War Artist, Sutherland depicted bomb damage in London but it was not until after the war that he started to become really well known. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 1960 and died in London in 1980. A number of portrait commissions in the 1950s proved highly controversial. Winston Churchill hated Sutherland’s depiction of him. After initially refusing to be presented with it at all, he accepted it disparagingly as “a remarkable example of modern art.
The exhibition is open in line with current Cathedral opening times (Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, and Sunday 12 noon to 4pm).
Entry is free, donations are welcome.