Exhibited: National Society of Painters, Sculptors, Engravers, Potters; Royal Institute Galleries, 195 Piccadilly
This pastel portrait is of Edith’s sister-in-law, and frequent model, Olive Deakes.
Edith Granger-Taylor began painting as a child, attending the Royal Academy Schools (1910), St. John’s Wood Art School, and the Slade School of Fine Art for a term in 1919, where she studied under Henry Tonks. She also returned to the Slade in the early 1930s to study stage design. She exhibited numerously in the 1920s and 1930s, including
at the NEAC, the RE exhibition in 1935, and with solo shows at the Grosvenor Galleries (1922) and the Beaux Arts Gallery (1932). She worked almost exclusively in pastel or crayon.
Reporting on her 1932 exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery, the art critic from The Scotsman wrote that Granger-Taylor uses pastel with extraordinary facility and intelligence, and designs with grace. She has a style personal and fluent (…), full of pleasant flourishes and tricks of technique’. The writer goes on to praise the tone and shape of Granger-Taylor’s near-abstract style, saying that the peculiar sweetness (of pastel) proves fatal to all but draughtsmen with a strong and healthy colour sense’.
In spite of such critical reception, her increasing frustration as a female artist working in the inter-war years, showcased in paintings such as Allegory (1934) (which she referred to as a ‚Äúdelicate feminist satire‚Äù) caused Granger-Taylor to retreat from the art world, and after the 1930s her work would not be exhibited again in her lifetime.