An exhibition exploring one of the Gallery's most significant donations, the George and Ann Dannatt Gift, which includes a largely unseen and newly conserved group of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints by key figures associated with the St Ives Group of Artists in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, including Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and John Tunnard.
Pallant House Gallery is delighted to present St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection. Including largely unseen paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints by key figures associated with the St Ives Group of artists, the exhibition marks the centenary of George Dannatt's birth.
George Dannatt (1915 - 2009), a surveyor, music critic and abstract artist, who exhibited with the Penrith Society of Arts and joined the Newlyn Society of Artists, became friends with many key St Ives artists of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. With his wife Ann, the founder of the Association of Women Housing Managers, whom he married in 1943, he created a rural equivalent of Kettle's Yard, filling their modernist home in Wilstshire with artworks, books and music which they later donated to Pallant House Gallery, preserving the collection for future generations.
Displayed within the domestic interiors of the 18th century Pallant House, the exhibition is presented in rooms exploring different themes. The largest section focusses on the correspondences between the abstract artists associated with the Cornish artists' colony of St Ives including Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Wilhemina Barns-Graham, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, Bryan Wynter and John Tunnard, alongside rare artists' books and illustrated volumes from the extensive book collection.
The artist Terry Frost (1915-2003), whose centenary is also celebrated this year, is particularly well represented by a group of paintings, collages and prints including important early works such as ‘Blue, Black and White' (1960-61). Dannatt also collected significant groups of works by other key St Ives artists including drawings and prints by Roger Hilton (1911-197 5), several paintings by his close friend John Wells (1909-2000) and bronze sculptures by Dennis Mitchell (1912-1993).
The correspondences and influences between abstract artists in the post-war period are explored in a display of work by contemporaries of the St Ives artists, including bronzes by the abstract sculptor Robert Adams (1917-1984), together with graphic works by SW Hayter, William Gear, Lynn Chadwick and Dannatt himself. Although pure abstract artworks predominate in the collection, reflecting Dannatt's own interests as an artist, a section of the exhibition considers how artists including Robert Colquhoun, Ceri Richards, Roger Hilton and Jankel Adler have used the enduring subject of the human figure as a vehicle for abstraction.
Other themes explored in the exhibition include the poetic strain of Neo-Romanticism in Britain - represented by Paul Nash's iconic lithographs of the seawall at Dymchurch and landscapes by John Craxton, Prunella Clough, Keith Vaughan and Alan Reynolds.
As regular visitors to France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy, the Dannatts did not collect exclusively British works and within the exhibition is a room of international abstract works by Jean Arp, Eduardo Chillida, Hans Hartung, Pierre Soulages and Victor Vasarely.
The George and Ann Dannatt Gift, which came to the Gallery in 2011, contributes to the Gallery's identity as a ‘collection of collections', sitting alongside that of Dean Walter Hussey, Colin St John Wilson, Charles Kearley and the Golder-Thompson Gift of contemporary prints, among others. , Much of the Dannatt collection has not been seen in public before and nearly all works have been newly conserved.
Simon Martin, Artistic Director of Pallant House Gallery says, ‘The exhibition not only provides an opportunity to see an important group of artworks by the St Ives artists, but also provides a fascinating insight into how an artist formed a collection which in turn influenced his own artworks. We are enormously grateful to Ann Dannatt and the George Dannatt Trust for their support of the Gallery.'
The exhibition, supported by The George Dannatt Trust, is accompanied by a fully illustrated book about the collection by Professor Brandon Taylor, with contributions by Trevor Dannatt RA, Adrian Dannatt and Jackie Sarafoupoulos.
A selling exhibition of George Dannatt's work at Osborne Samuel in London in September 2015 has been timed to coincide with the exhibition, as well as an exhibition of St Ives and Dannatt's work at the Southampton Art Gallery.
St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection will tour to the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester in Autumn 2015.
Notes to Editors
A programme of talks, events and workshops, has been scheduled to coincide with the exhibition.
Illustrated catalogue: St. Ives & British Modernism - The George & Ann Dannatt Collection
Illustrated with a wide range of works from the Dannatt and other collections, together with fascinating archive material, this book by Professor Brandon Taylor, with contributions by Trevor Dannatt RA, Adrian Dannatt and Jackie Sarafoupoulos, presents a view of British post-war modernism from the point of view of those most closely involved. Collection. Available in the Pallant House Gallery Bookshop. Exhibition Price £16.95 (RRP £19.95).
Exclusive Prints by George Dannatt
The Pallant House Gallery Bookshop will be selling a selection of exclusive prints, including screenprints and etchings, by George Dannatt during the summer. The prints showcase both the artist's bold use of block colour in his screenprints and his sensitive handling of monochrome designs. Edition sizes vary from just 10 to larger editions of 120. Prices available on request. On sale from 16 June 2015 www.pallantbookshop.com
Summer season exhibitions:
Sickert in Dieppe (4 July - 4 October 2014)
Kenneth Rowntree (1915 - 1997): A Centenary Exhibition
(22 July - 18 October 2015)
Nek Chand: The Rock Garden Sculptures (13 June - 25 October 2015)
Michael Petry: A Twist in Time (From 4 July 2015)
About Pallant House Gallery
Pallant House Gallery is a unique combination of an historic Queen Anne townhouse and contemporary extension, housing one of the best collections of Modern British art in the country. Widely acclaimed for its innovative temporary exhibitions and exemplary Learning and Community Programme which has inclusion at its heart, the Gallery has won numerous awards since re-opening in 2006, including the Gulbenkian Prize, the largest for arts and cultural organisations in the country.