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25 February 2019Four Great 20th Century British Artists
15 March 2019The Sistine Chapel Before and After Michelangelo’s Ceiling
01 April 2019The Royal Opera House – An Inside View

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Four Great 20th Century British Artists Linda Smith Monday 25 February 2019

Venue: The Walton Suite, Guildhall, Winchester SO23 9GH

Time:    10:00 for coffee, lectures will run 10:30 – 15:00

Cost:   £38 (includes coffee, buffet lunch and a glass of wine)



First Lecture:Augustus John and Gwen John

His work has been called brash and shallow, and hers dismissed as fussy and spinsterish.  These assessments are not really fair to either artist, and this lecture takes a careful look at their lives, in parallel, up to the point of Gwen’s death in 1939.  At that time, she had no public reputation whatsoever, and her brother was enjoying enormous professional and critical success.  By the time he died, however, the positions had been reversed, and the talk will consider the reasons why.


Second Lecture: Paula Rego 

This lecture looks at the life and work of Paula Rego, who is a British artist of Portuguese origin best known for her depictions of folk tales and strikingly unusual images of women.  

Married to the British artist Victor Willing (1928-88), Paula Rego settled in this country permanently in the 1970s, but her career in Britain had effectively begun in the early 1960s, when she exhibited with artists like Frank Auerbach and David Hockney.  Over the following twenty years her career and reputation built steadily, and in 1990 she was invited to become the first Associate Artist at the National Gallery.  Her well-known series of paintings and prints based on nursery rhymes emerged from this residency, as did another series of large scale paintings which is currently displayed in the National Gallery restaurant.


In her early days Paula Rego experimented with many different styles, including abstraction, and was very much influenced by Surrealism, but her mature style places a strong emphasis on clear draughtsman ship and the human figure.  She produces works which suggest complicated narratives full of psychological tension, drama, and emotion.   Frequently she depicts women and girls in disturbing or ambiguous situations and poses, which has occasionally caused some controversy, but her insistence on the physicality of her female figures, and her refusal to idealise or revert to cliché, has earned her global recognition and many prestigious awards. She was made a DBE in 2010. 


Third Lecture: Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread is a Turner Prize winner, and one of the most important and respected British artists working today.  In 2005 she provided one of the series of impressive site-specific sculptures for the enormous Tate Modern Turbine Hall.  Her preoccupation with the hidden spaces in between things has resulted in an extraordinary range of objects which form a series of eloquent tributes to the silent and overlooked.


This lecture gives an account of her career to date, showing examples of how she has used ordinary domestic objects to create enigmatic and evocative works of art.  The range in scale of her works is huge: from tiny objects derived from light switches or hot-water bottles, to multi-component installations, to an entire house.  In every case, the finished works reveal unexpected associations, and can be extremely moving.  It was this quality which won her the prestigious commission to design a Holocaust Memorial for the city of Vienna, one of her most demanding and difficult assignments to date, but also one of the most successful.


Linda Smith MA

Linda Smith is a well-qualified art historian with a broad range of knowledge, and a special interest in British art, and the art of the twentieth century.

She offers illustrated talks, presentations and study days on a variety of art-historical topics and has taken on various types of assignment at a wide range of venues, including public galleries, secondary schools, universities, cruise liners, and private arts societies in the UK and overseas.  She is an accredited NADFAS lecturer, and an experienced gallery guide, especially at Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, where she works as a Guide and Lecturer.


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