• Fresh Paint: New Acquisitions and Long-term Loans, Dates to be confirmed

    Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, Circus, 1964, oil on canvas, Ben Uri Collection © Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust

     

    Fresh Paint: New Acquisitions and Long-term Loans

    Dates to be confirmed

    Fresh Paint celebrates the re-opening of Ben Uri Gallery in Boundary Road (after closure for remedial work following last summer’s flash floods) with an exciting and eclectic exhibition marking new acquisitions and long-term loans to the Ben Uri Collection since 2019. This important selection of paintings, drawings, sculpture and lithographs marks the Ben Uri Research Unit’s continuing focus on the Jewish and immigrant contribution to British visual culture since 1900.

     

    Highlights including works reflecting public performance includes painter Abraham Solomon (whose work joins that of his younger brother Simeon Solomon in the Ben Uri Collection for the first time)’s delightful portrayal of Moliere’s La Malade Imaginaire (1861), Marie-Louise von Motesiczky’s celebratory Circus (1964), Lancelot Ribeiro’s bold King Lear (1964), and Ben Enwonwu’s rhythmic Dancer* (1962).Works addressing war, imprisonment and the Holocaust include Peter Howson’s immense canvas Holocaust Crowd Scene II (2011), Gregoire Michonze’s firsthand Stalag Scene (1940–42), and Felix Topolski’s iconic wartime depiction of London (1944), commissioned by  textile designer Zika Ascher; leading actor and artist Sir Antony Sher’s highly moving Self-portrait as Primo (2008) aptly spans both themes. Sculptor Georg Ehrlich’s tender Two Sisters commemorates the death of his sister-in-law Mira Bauer-Gutman; while George Mayer Marton’s March of the Parents* (1956) references both the artist’s own experience as a so-called ‘Hitler emigre’, the fate of his parents, who perished in concentration camps, and that of his native country in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. Post-war, former wartime navigator Alfred Cohen, subject of a recent centenary exhibition and publication, captures a birds-eye view of London in The View from Panton House (1962); Rudolf Hradil’s print, presented from Derby Museum, captures another London view; while Ribeiro depicts his hometown Bombay (Mumbai) with sharp-edged, collage-like precision. Wartime Hitler émigrée Helga Michie’s print, Headland (1980), is the first of her works to enter a public collection.

     

    A series of events including lectures, virtual exhibitions and an online issuu catalogue will accompany the exhibition with an online curatorial tour by Ben Uri’s Director Sarah MacDougall.

     

    This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of gallerist and curator Agi Katz (1938–2021).

     

    Notes for editors: Artists featured: Marc Chagall* (1887 Vitebsk, Russia (Belarus)–1985 St-Paul, France), Alfred Cohen (1920 Chicago, USA–2001 Kings Lynn, England), Georg Ehrlich (1897 Vienna, Austria–1966 Lucerne, Switzerland), Ben Enwonwu* (1921 Onitsha, Nigeria–Lagos, Nigeria 1994), Jacob Epstein* (1880 New York, USA–1959 London, England), Eva Frankfurther (1930 Berlin, Germany–1959 London, England), Peter Howson (b. 1958 London, England), Rudolf Hradil (1925 Morzg, Austria 2007–Vienna, Austria), George Mayer-Marton* (1897 Győr, Hungary–1960 Liverpool, England), Helga Michie (1921 Linz, Austria–2018 London, England), Gregoire Michonze (1902 Kishineff, Russia (Moldova)–1982 Paris, France), Marie-Louise von Motesiczky (1906 Vienna, Austria–1996 London, England), Lancelot Ribeiro (1933 Bombay (Mumbai), India–2010 London, England), Sir Antony Sher (b. 1949 Cape Town, South Africa), Abraham Solomon (1823 London, England–1862 Biarritz, France), Felix Topolski (1907 Warsaw, Poland–1989 London, England).

     

    The Ben Uri Collection was formed in 1915 in London’s East End by Russian-Jewish decorative artist and craftsman Lazar Berson to support Jewish artists working outside the cultural mainstream. The Collection, begun in 1919, principally reflects three waves of migration to the UK: first- and second-generation Eastern-European Jewish migration prior to the First World War; the so-called ‘Hitler émigrés’ (1933–45), and wider multicultural immigration after the Second World War. In contrast to the national average of around 4%), two-thirds of the artists are immigrants and one third are women.

     

    +This work was purchased in 2020 with the reallocated proceeds of the sale of work by Barnett Freedman, generously gifted by his son Vincent Freeman and supported by his family. Works marked* are on long-term loan to the Ben Uri Collection.

     

    For further information please contact: Sarah MacDougall Sarahm@benuri.org

    For images please contact: Reka Vajda Rekav@benuri.org

     

    For opening times: see www.benuri.org

  • “Sheer Verve”: The Women’s International Art Club, 02 June – 26 August

    Orovida Pissarro, Ceremonial Dance, 1927, Egg tempera on silk, Private Collection, London © The Artist’s Estate

    “Sheer Verve”: The Women’s International Art Club

    02 June – 26 August

    The Women’s International Art Club (WIAC) was founded in Paris in 1898 to give female artists a platform at a time when it was difficult for them to exhibit their work. It also set out to encourage networking opportunities between women artists who were often dismissed by the male art establishment. The inaugural exhibition, held in London’s Grafton Gallery in 1900, went on to become a feted annual event until the club was dissolved in 1978.
    More than a century after the WIAC’s inception, Ben Uri showcases the club’s “sheer verve”, in the words of Arts Review critic Bettina Wadia (26 January 1963) with work from 22 of its collection artists including Sonia Delaunay, Dora Gordine, Clara Klinghoffer, Laura Knight, Orovida Pissarro and Ottilie Tolansky.
    Encompassing paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints and lithographs depicting landscapes, interiors, still life, figures and abstracts in all their “astonishing variety”, as Art News & Review’s Barbara Wright put it, it presents an exhilarating snapshot of the club’s radical artistic output over seven decades.
    Highlights include Orovida’s richly decorative Ceremonial Dance, featuring homemade egg tempura applied in delicate washes to silk, Laura Knight’s acclaimed Nuremberg Trial studies and Tolansky’s bold Portrait of a Girl, and Baranowska's deeply impastoed Actaeon Devoured by his Hounds.
    A series of events including lectures, virtual exhibitions and an online issuu catalogue with an essay by WIAC expert Una Richmond, accompanies the exhibition.
    Notes for editors:
    Una Richmond is an AHRC CHASE-funded doctoral student in the department of Art History at the University of Sussex. The working title for her thesis is ‘No Second Sex in Art: The Women’s International Art Club 1950–1978’.
    Artists featured: Janina Baranowska (1925–2021), Sandra Blow (1925–2006), Ruth Collet (1909–2001), Sonia Delaunay (1885–1979), Amy Drucker (1873–1951), Zena Flax (b. 1930), Lily Delissa Joseph (1863–1940), Elsa Fraenkel ((1892–1975), Dora Gordine (1895–1991), Laura Knight (1877–1970), Clara Klinghoffer (1900–1970), Halina Korn (1902–1978), Margaret Marks (1899–1990), Anna Mayerson (1906–1984), Else Meidner (1901–1987), Erna Nonnenmacher (1889–1980), Lena Pillico (1884–1947), Orovida Pissarro (1893–1968), Adèle Reifenberg (1893–1986), Lotti Reizenstein (1904–1982), Ottilie Tolansky (1912–1977) and Katerina Wilczynski (1894–1978).
    The Ben Uri Collection was formed in 1915 in London’s East End by Russian-Jewish decorative artist and craftsman Lazar Berson to support Jewish artists working outside the cultural mainstream. The Collection, begun in 1919, principally reflects three waves of migration to the UK: first- and second-generation Eastern-European Jewish migration prior to the First World War; the so-called ‘Hitler émigrés’ (1933–45), and wider multicultural immigration after the Second World War. In contrast to the national average of around 4%), two-thirds of the artists are immigrants and one third are women.
    Ben Uri’s collection and exhibiting history often reflect WIAC membership with women from both Jewish and immigrant backgrounds regularly exhibiting at both venues. Lena Pillico was the first female artist to exhibit under Ben Uri’s auspices in 1927, Clara Klinghoffer’s work was the first to enter the permanent collection in 1935, and Lily Delissa Joseph successfully negotiated her artistic, religious, familial, and political identities, while maintaining an international exhibiting profile. Orovida Pissarro, a key and high-profile WIAC member, served on the selection, hanging, and executive committees almost continuously from 1928–1950, while Lena Pillico, Janina Baranowska and Ruth Collet were all involved in WIAC committees.
    For further information please contact: Sarah MacDougall Sarahm@benuri.org
    For images please contact: Reka Vajda Rekav@benuri.org
    For opening times: see www.benuri.org