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XXVII (27) Art

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An exhibition of painting by Ben Nicholson (awarded the Ulisse Prize), Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud attracted special attention and was extensively reviewed in the British press. Robert Melville wrote in The Architectural Review September issue: ‘… the Venetian light has not modified one’s sense of the serene accomplishment of Ben Nicholson, but it treats Bacon as the most elegant of painters. It brings out the impressionistic iridescence of the landscape in the Tate’s “Study for a Composition” and the superb, Soutine-like painting of the meat in the Museum of Modern Art’s picture. It also emphasises the insouciance of the brushwork in the sketchy later pictures, so that the subject-matter seems remote, as if it were a period of gloomy realism in which he made great technical strides, is now recapturing the sparkle of his early work, and his latest autobiographical study of sleeping and staring, almost ranks with the well-known “Girl with Roses”.’ This painting by Freud of his first wife, Kitty, daughter of the sculptor Jacob Epstein, was acquired by the British Council in 1948 and is one of the masterpieces of the British Council Collection of Art.

Selection Committee: Sir Philip Hendy, Philip James, Roland Penrose, Sir Herbert Read, Sir John Rothenstein, Lilian Somerville (British Council).

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British Pavilion

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