Evelyn De Morgan: The Lost Paintings
1st February 2013 - 20th April 2013
Late night viewing: Thursday 7th February 2013
In October 1991 a fire ravaged the Bourlet’s art storage unit where much of the De Morgan Foundation’s art collection was stored. In one night more than 15 paintings by Evelyn De Morgan and many other artworks were tragically destroyed – lost for future generations to admire. This exhibition will display drawings and studies for these lost paintings, alongside colour photographs taken during the preceding years in the art store, giving an unprecedented opportunity to discover more about these extraordinary works of art.
Evelyn De Morgan is renowned for her oil paintings which are abundant with Pre-Raphaelite imagery, spiritualist symbolism and strong feminist undertones, but she also exhibited remarkable skills in drawing. The De Morgan Centre’s collections contain a significant number of Evelyn’s drawings and pastel studies for her paintings, which give a fascinating insight into her creative process.
This exhibition focuses on a small group of rarely seen studies by Evelyn De Morgan which demonstrate her working process – from loose compositional sketches, to detailed anatomical studies (often of both clothed and naked forms in the same pose) and refined and accurate pastel studies for the final work.
Evelyn drew from life using a small pool of models including her maid Jane Hales, family members and professional models. Recurring faces are familiar presences in Evelyn’s work, as demonstrated by two studies of male heads for St Christina Giving her Father’s Jewels to the Poor and The Marriage of St. Francis and the Holy Poverty, which are of the same Italian model. Whilst often intended as studies for large scale thematic paintings, De Morgan’s works on paper also portray a sense of the intimate and familial scale of the artist’s world; delicately executed studies of hands holding props from the artist’s studio for St. Christina Giving her Father’s Jewels to the Poor being a case in point.
This exciting exhibition will open on 1st February 2013, and we invite you to join us for a late night viewing on Thursday February 7th 2013.
In October of this year we will welcome an exhibition of ceramics, paintings, print and textiles from renowned ceramicist Sandra Eastwood and the multi-disciplinary artist Jacy Wall. We have hosted Tim’s carefully curated shows previously at the Centre and are delighted to once again display a range of hand-crafted objects in this selling exhibition.
Sandra Eastwood is a highly skilled potter and an accomplished hand builder of sculptural forms. Her modernist patterns and designs are inspired by the musical compositions of Bach, Stravinsky and Shostakovich amongst others, as well the diverse melodic phrases of jazz, blues and gospel music. Her aptitude in mathematics is also evident in her creative output: she is inspired by Fibonacci patterns observed in nature, in pine cones, sunflowers and seashells.
Jacy Wall has a background in constructed textiles and began her career in the medium of woven tapestry, more recently experimenting with painting and printmaking. Through the theme of patching, mending and repairing, skills she venerates, though derided in the past as “woman’s work”, Wall explores her emotional responses to the past and women’s role within the domestic sphere in her celebration of the deterioration of used and cherished objects.
Heather Konschuh: Spectrum
31st August - 27th September 2012
The De Morgan Centre is excited to once again welcome Heather Konschuh, in a stunning selling exhibition which promises vibrant colours and flowing forms.
Heather Konschuh is an international glass artist who initially trained in Canada and Australia before coming to live and work in London. She has been blowing glass professionally since 2005.
Spectrum will explore the interplay of light through different translucencies of glass. The exhibition will demonstrate Heather’s masterful techniques of glass blowing, which involves heating glass up to 2000°F and using a series of tools including tweezers, paddles and diamond shears to shape the glass into flowing forms. Heather's glass portfolio has a wide vocabulary of blown forms; however, the unifying theme throughout her work is elegance and simplicity created through form and colour.
In this exhibition of her most recent collection, Heather is particularly fascinated with the variations between opaque and transparent colours within the same piece, with the overlap creating sleek lines and large areas of vibrant colour. She states, “It is important that glass keeps a certain amount of its translucency. Too much opaque colour and it can begin to look like plastic while if it is solely translucent, it can struggle to look grounded; it’s a fine balance”.
Selected pieces of Heather’s work have been available for purchase in the De Morgan Centre shop throughout the year, but this is the first time the temporary exhibition space will be dedicated completely to a selling exhibition of her glassware. The selection of vessels, bowls and jewellery demonstrate the dynamic nature of glass as an artist’s medium. Visitors to the gallery will have the opportunity to enjoy Heather’s contemporary forms alongside the work of the De Morgans, artists lauded in their time for their high level of craftsmanship.
Join us from 31st August to 27th September to experience this striking exhibition of Heather's craftsmanship.
Voyages of Discovery: De Morgans and the Sea
3rd February - 25th August 2012
The sea was a major source of inspiration for the De Morgans, as evidenced by William's galleons, dolphins and sea monsters, and the prevalence of seascapes in Evelyn's paintings. Join us for a journey of ships, sea monsters, shells, sirens and sea monsters in this vibrant exhibition, curated in conjunction with National Trust Standen.
The superlative Galleon tile panel, designed for the P&O ship S.S.Malta in 1895, will be exhibited alongside key pieces from the De Morgan collection, including a spectacular moonlight lustre punch bowl depicting fanciful fish which represents the pinnacle of De Morgan’s technical prowess, and a very rare, early seahorse tile whose production techniques mirror the matt quality of Morris and Co. tiles. Among Evelyn’s exhibited works are the nude male figures of Phosphorous and Hesperus, which, imbued with potent sexual symbolism in the form of phallic torches and conch shells, caused scandal and controversy when first exhibited, and the allegorical ‘S.O.S’ with its symbolic sea monsters representing evil and death.