Presenting ‘David Gentleman On Location’ featuring destinations as remote as Nauru in the mid-Pacific, which Gentleman was commissioned to visit by the Nauruan government in 1976, as well as Kenya, Zanzibar, India and Brazil, and European destinations like Greece, Spain, France and Italy. Some of the European subjects will be familiar from the artist’s now-iconic series of travel books from the 1990s where they featured in reproduction.
David Gentleman (b.1930) is the last of the polymath designer-painters to have been trained at the Design School at the Royal College of Art, the alma mater of Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman and others – several of whom were his teachers. He has worked in many disciplines – as watercolourist, print-maker, muralist, designer and as the writer & illustrator of numerous books, including My Town, a best-selling pictorial memoir of London selected by the Financial Times as one of the best art books of 2020.
What is less well-known about Gentleman is how extensively he has travelled, and how extraordinarily rich are the cash of large watercolours and studies made during his time spent abroad. This is because the large majority have not been on the market before.
‘Drawing is learning as you look’ Gentleman has written, and he is noticeably perceptive in architectural and human detail which he renders with laconic but distinctive economy of line. On the Greek island of Paros, for example, Gentleman shows us ribbons of pathways and a scattering of white houses - and on Samos a group of men, talking together over a table game, who might have been there at any time over the centuries.
This exhibition represents a unique opportunity for collectors in the Modern British field. An illustrated catalogue with an introductory essay by Claire Tomalin will be available.