BURU (the Ben Uri Research Unit) is delighted to present the exhibition, Mark Gertler: Paintings from the Luke Gertler Bequest & Selected Important UK Collections, curated by Sarah MacDougall, the artist's biographer and cataloguer. This exhibition marks the 80th anniversary of the artist’s death and showcases five important paintings from the estate of the artist’s son, Luke Gertler (1932–2017), on loan with Art Fund support: The Artist’s Parents (c. 1909–10), The Artist’s Brother, Harry (c. 1911), Daffodils in a Blue Bottle (1916), Trees at Sanatorium, Scotland (1921) and The Coster Woman (1923), which have provided the catalyst and context for the current show. Together, these paintings, executed between c. 1908 and 1924, represent the major themes and motifs of Gertler’s early career: portraiture (particularly of members of his own family), the still life, and the landscape, spanning Gertler’s personal and artistic journey from the East End to Hampstead via the Slade School of Fine Art.
These loans are complemented by paintings and drawings from the Jerwood Collection and selected important UK private collections, as well as the Ben Uri Collection, with a particular focus on the fine draughtsmanship that underlies Gertler’s oeuvre. Highlights include Head of a Girl (1910, Jerwood Collection — formerly in the Collection of Paul Nash), the study for The Violinist (1912, Private Collection), further separate drawings of both sitters for Gertler’s much-loved, Rabbi and Grandchild (1913, both Private Collections), Ben Uri’s celebrated Rabbi and Rabbitzin (1914), figurative drawings for Gertler’s best-known painting, Merry-Go-Round (1915, 1916), a Coster Woman study (1924), and a head of the writer Arnold Bennett (c. 1927). These works are further contextualised by a display of Collection works relating to the wider circle of the 'Whitechapel Boys'.