Three Figures, Poros
I hadn't visited the Osborne Samuel gallery since they had moved to their new premises in Dering Street. This new John Craxton exhibition was the perfect opportunity to remedy this, and it was great to see many of Craxton's pieces that I hadn't seen before. This show complements the other significant Craxton exhibition - Charmed Lives In Greece - currently on display in London at the British Museum. There are some lovely works on display here charting the ways in which he picks the brains of Picasso, Matisse, and other artists of the European avant-garde of the period, before ultimately developing his own voice. The show at the British Museum also features paintings and drawings by Craxton's good friends artist Niko Ghika, and the celebrated writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. I have featured a very good earlier Craxton retrospective seen at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge in January 2014, in this very blog which features many of the pieces seen at the British Museum's Charmed Lives In Greece show, which you can visit here.
Couple by the Sea (Panorama Revisited)
Boy on a Sea Wall
Goat Eating a Vine
This lively depiction of a goat rooting in the vines was one of the highlights of the exhibition for me.
Cat, Tree and Bird
I had fun trying to discern the cat and bird from the tree in this piece above.
Autumn Landscape with Hills, Spetses
Faces and Fig Leaves
I really enjoyed this fan-like design merging man with nature similar to the legend of the Green Man and much like John Piper's Foliate Heads series.
Blue Still Life
Cat and Butterfly
Sleeping Fisherman in Olive Grove
Reclining Male Nude
Seated Figure, Paros
Portrait of Petros Mastopetros
These following depictions of men dancing were charming and very amusing - like seeing fathers and uncles 'getting their groove on', doing their best 'dad-dancing' at family get-togethers. Craxton's observations here are so accurate, and perfectly capture the joy of the figures lost in their own reveries to the rhythm, fully engaged in the act of interpreting the music through a series of increasingly athletic and bizarre dance movements. Wonderful.
Dancing Sailor II
Dancing Sailor IV
John Craxton In Greece: The Unseen Works
until 8th June
23 Dering Street
London W1S 1AW