Graham Sutherland 1903 - 1980

Provenance

Dr Andrew Revai
Robin Chancellor
James Kirkman
Private Collection, USA

Exhibitions

Copenhagen, Kunstforeningen Britisk Kunst 1900-1955, April 1956, cat no.90
Turin, Galleria Civica D'Arte Moderna, Graham Sutherland, October - November 1965, cat no.97 illus b/w
Basel, Kunsthalle, Graham Sutherland, 5th February - 13th March 1966, cat no.86
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Graham Sutherland, 11th March - 7th May 1967 cat no.45 illus b/w, touring to
The Hague, Gemeente Museum, 2nd June - 30th July 1967
Berlin, Haus am Waldsee, 11th August - 24th September 1967
Cologne, Wallraf Museu-Richartz Museum, 7th October - 20th November 1967
London, Tate Gallery, Graham Sutherland, 19th May - 14th July 1982, cat no 152 illus b/w
Paris, Art Curiel -Centre d'Art Plastique Contemporain, English Contrasts, , September - November 1984

Literature

Douglas Cooper, The Work of Graham Sutherland, David MacKay 1961, cat no.140 illus b/w
Masters in Colour (120), Graham Sutherland, Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1966, pl. XIII illus colour
Andrew Revai, Graham Sutherland, Purnell & Sons, 1966, illus p8 and pl.X
Francesco Arcangeli, Graham Sutherland Ouevres 1935-1973, Abrams 1973, cat no.52 illus colour
John Hayes, The Art of Graham Sutherland, Phaidon, 1980, pp. 37, 48, 132

Description

Sutherland has described ( in a manuscript note in the Tate Archives) how his interest in the Thorn Tree theme revived in the spring of 1954 when he went for a walk on a high mountain behind Monte Carlo and overlooking Peille. On a plateau in a declevity in the ground he found very tightly compact miniature bushes growing close to the ground. He started to make drawings, some in a vague cross form, and these led to this painting and one now in the Galerie des 20 Jarhunderts in West Berlin, in which structure was his first concern.
In both these paintings there is a compact tangle of barbed twigs forming a definite cross. The Berlin painting is wider in format, with an extensive cross-bar. Both show the thorn tree against a beautiful blue background, contrasting the symbol of anguish with a lyrical beauty.
Tate Gallery Retrospective catalogue, 1982