Visions and Recollections

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"Nothing that I do is abstract. I can locate all the ingredients of a painting in the richness of the outside world, the world of perception." (Prunella Clough). "But I think in my case not having had an art school training means that I continue to be fascinated by quite simple technical discoveries that an art student may be taught in his first year." (Keith Vaughan). Prunella Clough and Keith Vaughan were leading painters and teachers of the post-war period and close friends for over thirty-five years. They had a profound effect on the next generation of abstract and figurative painters. This exhibition, for the first time, explores the nature of the friendship that these two very different creative artists shared. Their working methods were surprisingly similar yet their paintings could not have been more different. The exhibition is curated by Gerard Hastings and David Evans. Hastings knew Clough during the 1980s and ’90s and has written several books on Vaughan. Various surviving friends of both painters, have also assisted in the organisation of this project. Now in their eighties, these contributors are each eager to share their memories and recollections of Clough and Vaughan, and have lent work from their private collections – including oil paintings, gouaches, drawings, prints and memorabilia. The result is an exhibition of over 120 works, painted over a period of sixty years, from collections in the UK, Paris and the USA. On display will be: Previously unexhibited and rarely seen oil paintings Recently discovered gouaches and watercolours Unknown sketchbooks and drawings An extensive collection of rare archive material will also be on display including: Unseen photographs of the artists and Christmas cards they sent to each other Unpublished correspondence Rare prints and graphic work and recently discovered drawings A fascinating collection of personal memorabilia and artefacts For the first time Vaughan’s sculptures are being exhibited Vintage photographic prints of Vaughan’s male nudes will also be on display for the first time, including a rarely seen photographic album dating form the 1930s, and male nude photographs discovered in his studio after his death. Some of Clough’s earliest work, from the 1930s, as well as drawings from her sketchbooks, made at Southworld during the 1940s, will be exhibited for the first time. A small, jewel-like, pencil portrait of Eileen Gray, Clough’s aunt, will be on display for the first time. A fully illustrated book accompanies the exhibition. This major publication contains over 125 colour images, unpublished letters, diary entries, interviews and notes by the artists, as well as reminiscences by their surviving friends. Contributors include the playwright Sir Peter Shaffer, the filmmaker Peter Adam and Veronica Gosling, who discovered his body after his suicide. An essay, by Gerard Hastings, explores the nature of Clough and Vaughan’s friendship that lasted over 30 years, and sheds new light on their working methods and personal relationship. The preface is written by Frances Spalding, Clough’s biographer.