The World Of Edward Bawden At Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

By David Prudames | 15 January 2003
Braintree Station, 1960, Linocut.

Left: Braintree Station, 1960, Linocut. © The Estate Of Edward Bawden.

A major exhibition of the life and works of Edward Bawden is on at the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery until April 6 and marks the hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Trained at the Royal Academy of Art, Edward Bawden (1903 - 89) opted to study illustration rather than fine art and would go on to establish himself as one of the most influential graphic artists of his generation.

Hyde Park - The Stage of London Life, 1925, Linocut.

Right: Hyde Park - The Stage of London Life, 1925, Linocut. © The Estate Of Edward Bawden

In a career spanning seven decades, his work could be seen all over the country advertising and illustrating everything from the London Underground and Shell, to the Festival of Britain and Ealing Films.

Bawden was born in Essex where he lived for most of his life, filling his work with the people and places he saw around him. It seems he was most at ease depicting the quirkier aspects of human life with characteristic humour and kindness.

Brighton Pier, 1958, Linocut.

Left: Brighton Pier, 1958, Linocut. © The Estate Of Edward Bawden

In 1989 the contents of his studio were donated to the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery so that it sould become a study centre for graphic art students. Many of the items and works on display come from that original collection.

Many of the artist's most famous large-scale linocuts can be seen at the show and a comprehensive survey of his work between 1920 and 1980 has been specially put together.

Horn Head V, Donegal, Eire, 1968, watercolour on paper.

Right: Horn Head V, Donegal, Eire, 1968, watercolour on paper. © The Estate Of Edward Bawden

Also on display at the exhibition is a small selection of watercolours and sculpture by Bawden's illustrious contemporaries including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, John and Paul Nash and Eric Ravilious.

A number of free lunchtime lectures exploring Edward Bawden's life and works have been organised to accompany the show. These will take place on January 17, February 21 and March 21.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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