9 November 2010 – 9 January 2011
This Christmas a new exhibition in the De’ Longhi Print Room casts a glimpse into the festive correspondences of several major British artists with a display of one-off cards created for friends and family. Taking its lead from the artists represented in the collection, the show features a range of cards by modern and contemporary British artists such as Graham Sutherland and John Piper.
Drawn from the personal acquisitions of several of the collectors and artists associated with the Gallery as well as the Gallery's own archive, the cards range from a 1906 etching by Glyn Philpot, executed in Pre-Raphaelite style, to contemporary cards by Gary Hume and Albert Irvin. While some are true to the artists' professional output, many are an outlet for their more playful or humorous side.
One particularly fascinating discovery is a 1937 Surrealist image sent from Graham and Kathleen Sutherland to his friend (and fellow student at Goldsmiths College) the artist Paul Drury. A humorous image of be-suited animals, it is quite unlike anything that one might expect Sutherland to send.
Animal motifs also feature in the offerings of the resolutely pagan John Craxton whose concession to expressions of festive cheer took the form of ‘New Year' cards decorated with decidedly secular imagery; while British textile designer and printmaker Enid Marx and her friend Margaret Lambert opted for celebratory wine-bottle shaped cards and reindeer-shaped cut-outs for their friends and family.