Graham Sutherland, 1903-1980
Simple name : Person: artist
Collection : People
Reference number : 1996/5128
Graham Sutherland was born in London, and became an engineering apprentice for the Midland Railway at Derby in 1919. He later enrolled at Goldsmith's College of Art where he specialised in etching (1920-25 or 1921-6, depending on the source).
His early work was influenced by Samuel Palmer. Sutherland exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1923 to 1929. He then turned to commercial work, designing glassware, ceramics, postage stamps and especially posters, as well as painting, notably portraits.
From 1929 he exhibited at the NEAC and during the early 1930s he began painting in oils, gouache and watercolours. He exhibited not only with the London Group from 1932, but with the Surrealist Group in London (1936) and in one-man shows in 1938 and 1940. At this period he made regular visits to Dorset and Pembrokeshire, where he used the landscape and coastline as the inspiration for his paintings. During the 1930s he designed posters for the Shell Company, the Orient Line and London Transport. In WW2 he painted bombed buildings and worked as an official war artist. From 1944 he took religious commissions, including work for St Matthew's Church, Northampton. During the 1950s he became a celebrated portrait painter and in 1954 he painted his controversial portrait of Winston Churchill which was eventually destroyed. In 1962 he designed the tapestry `Christ in Glory' for Coventry Cathedral. Retrospective exhibitions have been held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1951) and The Tate Gallery (1953 and 1982). (Green 1990)
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- Goldsmiths College : 1920-1925
- Designed posters for London Transport : 1933-1936