Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris

Gwen John, Autoportrait à la Lettre, (Self-Portrait with a letter)
Gwen John, Autoportrait à la Lettre, (Self-Portrait with a letter)

A bit of a recluse, who lived in the shadow of the men in her life, namely her brother Augustus John and her lover Auguste Rodin? Think again! is the message from curator/art historian Alicia Foster, who has put together the first retrospective of the English painter for over 20 years, in the contemporary wing of Pallant House Gallery: Art and Life in London and Paris. John lived life to the full in two buzzing capital cities, had influential friends (including Walter Sickert) and hatched out a successful solo career, either side of the Channel, mostly painting portraits of women, with a very female gaze. And just because she liked painting her subjects in interior settings, doesn’t mean she never went out! Interiors were all the rage in those fin-de-siecle days: think Pierre Bonnard; think Edouard Vuillard. Think Paul Cezanne. It’s an interesting show, which mixes John’s quiet, sensitive, contemplative portraits with related pieces by her aforementioned loved ones, friends and contemporaries.

Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris
Pallant House
Chichester
until October 3

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