Graham Sutherland



Graham Sutherland Painter

Graham Sutherland pittore

Graham Vivian Sutherland, born in London in 1903, was a British painter among the most significant of the twentieth century. Considered one of the leaders of contemporary painting in the UK, his art has evolved through an intricate mix of European Expressionist, Abstractionist, Cubist and Surrealist styles, enriched by his unique and tormented imagination.
Graham Sutherland's first steps in the world of art were as an engraver, under the influence of great masters such as William Blake, with whom he shares pre-romantic symbolism, and Samuel Palmer e John Nash. During this period, he taught printmaking at Chelsea College of Art and Design, thus helping to train new generations of artists. However, it was only in 1931 that he fully embraced painting, abandoning printmaking and opening the doors to a new chapter in his career.
In 1936 he participated in the International Surrealist Exhibition in London, even if he never completely joined the surrealist movement. From that moment on, he devoted himself to painting with fervor, exploring the harshness and drama of the landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Wales, where he often spent time. His works from this period are characterized by surreal and intense landscapes, as in the painting "Welsh landscape with roads." Graham Sutherland transforms natural forms into threatening totems, permeating the atmosphere with psychoanalytic suggestions.
The Second World War had a profound impact on the artist, who found himself involved in the visual representation of the devastation of London. His works in this period, such as the dramatic war drawings and the "Crucifixion" for the Church of St. Matthew in Northampton, reflect his deep connection to existential angst and human pain.
During the 1950s, he became more interested in the human figure, conducting research that led him to the creation of the "Crucifixion" and the sketches for the "Christ in Glory" in Coventry Cathedral.
In the following decades, Graham Sutherland also dedicated himself to Mailart and established contacts in Italy, including Eraldo Di Vita of Milan. As the years pass, his artistic research moves towards deeper investigations of the human unconscious, exploring the theme of pain and the fascination of the unexpected. His works are enriched with allusions to ancestral obsessions, with the frequent use of insects and monsters. Despite his predilection for research on the human figure, Graham Sutherland also became famous for his portraits of famous personalities, among which those of William Somerset Maugham and Winston Churchill stand out .
International recognition came at the beginning of the 1960s, when he obtained an exclusive contract with the prestigious Marlborough Gallery in London. In 1965, the artist was the protagonist of a large anthological exhibition at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Turin, which officially established the greatness and importance of his work.
Throughout his career, Graham Sutherland also developed abstract forms, often vaguely anthropomorphic, which were evocative and painful interpretations of reality. His travels in the south of France contribute to an unprecedented chromatic liveliness in his works. In addition to painting, graphics play a significant role in Sutherland's artistic production. His graphic works were often inspired by nature and animals, as in the case of the "Bestiary" of 1968 and "Le bestiaire ou Cortège d'Orphée" of 1979.In 1980, Graham Sutherland passed away in Mentone at the age of 73, leaving an artistic legacy of great value and influence on the next generation of artists. His work remains a journey into expressionism and the human soul, with landscapes and portraits that capture the essence of existence, both in its joys and its sufferings.

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