The Dulwich Picture Gallery have announced a new retrospective of the British artist and designer, which will be on display from the 23rd May 2018. 

Key 23_The Gnat and the Lion
Gnat and Lion, Edward Bawden, 1970, Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery (The Higgins Bedford), © Estate of Edward Bawden. 

Edward Bawden was best known for  his monumental linocuts and for the witty designs he made for companies like Shell and Fortnum & Mason but his achievements in fine art have been forgotten. Now, the Dulwich Picture Gallery seeks to change this in a new retrospective which will go on display in 2018.

Featuring a number of unseen works from the Bawden collection, the exhibition will examine how the artist reinvented watercolour for the 20th century by bringing his work back into the public eye.

The exhibition will display 170 works and will explore every aspect of his sixty year career uncovering his wit and skill as an artist.

Opening with works devoted to leisure and pleasure, the exhibition will also cover watercolours, engraving and linocuts on the theme of plants and gardens, his fascination with places and architecture as well as his life long love of storytelling.

Highlights of the exhibition will include designs for Fortnum & Mason and Twinings, alongside fanciful illustrated books created by Bawden for his children.

The display will be curated by James Russell, who curated Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2015. He is the author of The Lost Watercolours of Edward Bawden (Mainstone Press), a study of Bawden’s 1930s paintings, as well as titles devoted to Eric Ravilious and other artists of the period.

Talking about the exhibition he said: “This exhibition celebrates Bawden’s many achievements across all the disciplines he mastered, while also offering visitors an intimate portrait of the artist through studies, drawings and illustrated letters. Bawden’s unrivalled skill as a designer, irrepressible sense of humour and profound feeling for place will flow through the exhibition, offering visitors a varied, entertaining and sometimes moving experience.”

Loans have been secured from a number of private collections, as well as a wide range of institutions including the Imperial War Museum, the Fry Art Gallery and a major body of work from the Cecil Higgins Collection, Bedford, home of the Edward Bawden archive.

Edward Bawden will be on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 23rd May until the 9th September 2018. For more information visit: http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2018/may/edward-bawden/

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