In this week’s edition of Hidden Gems, Liss Llewellyn are delighted to unveil Windows. The window as a subject has long inspired artists. It is also a theme that feels rather pertinent of late, and a number of images in this selection show the artist looking outwards from windows as we are confined to our own, respective homes.
There are the studio views of Hubert Arthur Finney (1905-1991) and Karl Hagedorn (1889-1969), as well as the painting by John Moody (1906-1993), who uses the vantage point from his first floor residence to depict Brunswick Square. It is a rather sleepy rendering of this popular Bloomsbury site, with a dog walker and horse-drawn carriages among the only visible staffage. This is also a view that would change in September of that very year, as Moody’s house and the Square were damaged in the first wave of Blitz bombings. Thus the picture forms an unlikely counterpoint to the blown-out windows of Denys Wells’ (1881-1973) First World War oil.
Like Wells, there are various other artists in this group who look at, and not out of windows. There is Tirzah Garwood (1908-1951), whose House at Great Bardfield was part of a series of captivating images she produced of local Essex dwellings. Charles Mahoney’s (1903-1968) Greenhouse Interior calls to mind the work of Garwood’s husband, Eric Ravilious, and in particular his Cyclamen and Tomatoes (1935) from the collection of the Tate Gallery.
Other works in this campaign have a more Surrealist flavour, and the views they show are otherworldly and fantastical. Windows of course were a key part of the Surrealist vocabulary, often utilised by artists such as Dali, Magritte, and Leonora Carrington. Gerald Leet (1913-1998) was on the fringes of the British Surrealist group, and his Yellow and Pink Lilies which achieves such bold colour with tempera demonstrates his mastery in this style. The idiosyncratic work of David Evans (1929-1988) further compounds this note by introducing dreams and collage: another subject and technique both associated with Surrealism.