Skin Deep: GL Brockhurst & AR Middleton Todd
2 June — 8 October 2006
In The Tennant Room, a John Madejski Fine Room
G L Brockhurst RA (1890-1978), Corinne, 1925 Etching Exquisite etchings of women by GL Brockhurst (1890—1978) and AR Middleton Todd (1891—1966) are the focus of this exhibition. Both artists achieved considerable acclaim in the 1920s and ’30s with their etchings of women. Skin Deep enables you to explore the differences between the two artists’ work. Brockhurst’s art suggests a world at once glamorous, though sometimes unsettling, while Todd depicted women with greater feeling for comfort and domesticity. Alongside their etchings, the display includes a selection of Todd’s drawings. Three paintings are also included: Todd’s intimate Nude, Brockhurst’s intense Ophelia, and a painted version of his most famous – and controversial – etching, Adolescence.
Ophelia Ophelia by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst RA (1890-1978)
Oil on canvas 1020 X 810 mm Ophelia by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst RA (1890-1978)Brockhurst studied at the Birmingham School of Art and the RA Schools before travelling to Paris and Italy. He first made his reputation with etchings of female sitters, often using his first wife, Anaïs, as his model. During the 1930s he returned to painting and became famous for the hard-edged realism of his portraits of fashionable figures, including Wallis Simpson and Marlene Dietrich. He achieved notoriety when he left Anaïs for a young woman, Dorette, who was a life model at the RA Schools. Dorette was the sitter for his RA Diploma Work, Ophelia. Brockhurst left Britain and settled in the USA in 1939.
Born in Cornwall, Todd studied first under Stanhope Forbes in Newlyn, then at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, and finally at the Slade under Henry Tonks. He travelled in France, Italy and Holland, before returning to England, where he achieved early success with his etchings, watercolours and pastels of women. He went on to make a career teaching art and painting commissioned portraits of key figures of the British establishment. However, his favourite subjects always remained, in the words of a former pupil, ‘small, intimate portraits of young women’.
1pm-4.30pm Tuesday to Friday
10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday