Exhibition: Graham Sutherland – An Unfinished World, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, December 10 2011 – March 18 2012
© Estate of Graham Sutherland
When the artist many people are talking about at the moment, George Shaw, discusses the works of Graham Sutherland on display here, his words sound uncannily similar to the ones with which his own landscapes have been described.
"They are a lament to the passing and changing landscape, a monument to the earth itself," he says.
"The exhibition shows us Sutherland as an artist as much rooted in the past as in the world before him – a world forever unfinished."
Shaw may not have the accolades of a Turner Prize winner to bask in – despite arguably being the popular choice, he missed out to Martin Boyce earlier this week – but he can look forward to this show he has curated for Modern Art Oxford, reflecting on Sutherland's lesser-known works of Welsh landscapes during the 1930s, time as a war artist during the 1940s and, having returned to Pembrokeshire, later pieces during the 1970s.
Like Shaw, Sutherland's slant turns the world into a place where the everyday becomes foreboding, dark and shrouded by an unspoken mysticism, his materials formed of concrete, gravel, tarmac, meandering lanes and ambiguous horizons.
There are fleeting mortal touches without any sign of humans, part of a past destined to disappear and be forgotten.
This eerie display compiles more than 80 works on paper from public and private UK collections. In the process, it also unites two artists whose eye for unsettling mundanity spans a century of change.
- Open 10am-5pm (7pm Thursday-Saturday, 12pm-5pm Sunday, closed Monday. Festive exceptions: Closed December 25-26, January 1-2; closes 3pm December 24; open 12pm-5pm December 27; 10am-5pm December 28 and 31; 10am-6pm December 29 and 30). Admission free.