MellerMerceux.com

The Bloomsbury Set: Life Among the Bohemians

Posted By Tom on June 19, 2014

The artists and writers who made up the Bloomsbury Set were icons of the avant-garde in early twentieth-century London. A new exhibition at Aidan Meller Fine Paintings shines a light on their extraordinary creativity, boasting original artworks by Duncan Grant, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell.

1562In her 1928 novel Orlando, Bell’s sister Virginia Woolf writes, “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” The idea is well suited to the group of intellectuals who gathered at Woolf’s Gordon Square home from 1904 onwards. A nest of love triangles and glittering conversation, Bloomsbury was where art and life were most exhilaratingly mingled.

It was an experiment born out of bereavement. Virginia Stephen (later Woolf) and sister Vanessa (soon to be Bell) swapped the family home in Hyde Park for Bloomsbury after the death of their parents. The sisters’ Thursday night debates soon attracted a network of leading Cambridge intellectuals, and in 1910, Woolf, artist Duncan Grant and others conned the Royal Navy into granting them a private tour of the HMS Dreadnought by impersonating Abyssinian royalty.

The stunt put Bloomsbury in the public eye. The group became associated with important figures such as T. S. Eliot and E. M. Forster, while Lytton Strachey published his wildly successful Eminent Victorians. A collection of satirical biographies, Strachey’s book was typical of Bloomsbury’s rejection of nineteenth-century culture.

Bloomsbury’s ascent also marked the rise of modern art in Britain. In 1910 and 1912, Roger Fry put on Britain’s first important Post-Impressionist exhibitions, featuring Cézanne, Matisse and others. These daring exhibitions were controversial at first, but transformed the careers of Grant and Bell.

Aidan Meller’s new Bloomsbury display is centred on drawings by Duncan Grant, originally from the collection of his lover Paul Roche. When the pair first met, Roche was a youthful-looking Catholic priest who would dress up as a sailor and use the pseudonym “Don”. Grant wooed him with a bottle of rum while they viewed a friend’s art collection, which included Picasso, Matisse, Sickert and others. They fell in love while “Don” was modelling for Grant and he eventually came clean about his real name and profession. Amorous and vivid, these drawings offer a rare insight into the intimate, liberated energy of Bloomsbury artists. Also included in the display are rare graphic works by Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell.

Written by Dr. Thomas Slingsby.

COMMENTS ABOUT "The Bloomsbury Set: Life Among the Bohemians"
NONE YET - PLEASE LEAVE ONE »

The 2014 Aidan Meller Prize for Art Criticism

Posted By Tom on June 9, 2014

In February 2014 the second Aidan Meller Prize for Art Criticism was awarded at a black-tie dinner held at the Oxford Union.

The winner was Natalie Ferris of Queen’s College, who wrote a review of Cornelia Parker’s exhibition at the Frith Street Gallery. Natalie was presented with her prize by Professor Barrie Bullen, author of Rossetti: Painter and Poet (Frances Lincoln, 2012).

The prize is run in co-operation with the Edgar Wind Society (EWS) and is open to undergraduate and postgraduate members of Oxford University. It celebrates excellence in new critical writing.

COMMENTS ABOUT "The 2014 Aidan Meller Prize for Art Criticism"
THERE IS ALREADY ONE COMMENT - LEAVE YOURS »

Chagall – love for Bella

Chagall – love for Bella

Posted By Tom on May 15, 2014 Category: Research Tags:

A new Mark Chagall exhibition at Aidan Meller Modernism is a poignant reminder of modern art’s romantic side, shining a light on the artist’s love for his muse Bella Rosenfeld. Chagall is the most mysterious of the modern artists who revolutionised our experience of beauty in the early 20th century. Straddling the folklore of his […]

Poetic Pre-Raphaelites

Poetic Pre-Raphaelites

Posted By Tom on April 28, 2014 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

­A new exhibition of engravings at Aidan Meller Fine Paintings documents the role of Pre-Raphaelite artists in the revolution in illustration that occurred in the second half of the 19th century. During this period, the market for illustrated books and periodicals exploded as railway networks facilitated the distribution and a new middle class with disposable […]

Unseen Pre-Raphaelites

Unseen Pre-Raphaelites

Posted By Tom on March 21, 2014 Category: Latest News, News, Research Tags:

Until 21st April. 14 Broad Street, Oxford A recently discovered cache of Pre-Raphaelite art has gone on display at Aidan Meller Fine Paintings. The beautiful drawings had lain neglected for the best part of a century before Mr. Aidan Meller received a phone call from an Abingdon resident, alerting him to their existence. He bought […]

Rivals – Matisse and Picasso

Rivals – Matisse and Picasso

Posted By Tom on March 21, 2014 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

Matisse and Picasso were the very best of enemies, as a new exhibition at Aidan Meller Modernism reveals. Although of different nationalities and different generations, the two were obvious competitors. At the dawn of the twentieth century, each artist was determined to stake his claim as the leading light of the revolutionary modernist movement. Both […]

The High Aesthetic: Victorian High Society

The High Aesthetic: Victorian High Society

Posted By Tom on January 30, 2014 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

Runs until end of February 2014. This exhibition of rare drawings, etchings and other graphic works documents some of the fascinating tensions in late Victorian art. Contrary to the popular conception of Victorians as buttoned-up conformists, the artists who followed on from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were passionately obsessed with finding the truest expression of the […]

The Rise of Paris: Cradle of Innovation

The Rise of Paris: Cradle of Innovation

Posted By Tom on January 30, 2014 Category: Latest News, News Tags:

Until end of February 2014. This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary creativity of Paris in the 20th century with original works by Matisse, Picasso, Chagall and Dalí. These were the key figures in modernism, a movement which reasserted the totemic power of the artwork at a time of Which . Useless would tenorim without prescription the […]

Website design by MadeGlobal.com