Picasso and Pissarro top the bill in new Abbot Hall Art Gallery exhibition (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Picasso and Pissarro top the bill in new Abbot Hall Art Gallery exhibition
ONE of the most wide-ranging and fascinating exhibitions ever staged at Abbot Hall opens tomorrow (Friday), featuring works by distiguished artists such as Picasso and Pissarro.
The Kendal art gallery hosts the Radev Collection: Bloomsbury and Beyond, a private collection, which has only recently been aired in public.
The exhibition contains a stellar list of artwork, including pieces by Duncan Grant, Alfred Wallis, Ivon Hitchens, Ben Nicholson, Keith Vaughan, Graham Sutherland, Pablo Picasso, Lucien Pissarro and Vanessa Bell.
The Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set was an enormously influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, the best known members of which included Virginia Woolf, E M Forster, Vanessa and Clive Bell and Duncan Grant. The collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London, during the first half of the 20th Century.
The Radev Collection is named after Mattei Radev, who arrived in Britain in the 1950s as a stowaway on a cargo ship, fleeing from communism in his native Bulgaria. Radev went on to build a new life in London mixing with the creative Bloomsbury circle, and becoming a leading picture framer for the London galleries. Radev inherited most of the works from his friend, the artist-dealer Eardley Knollys, who, in turn, had inherited from music critic Eddy Sackville-West, following the latter’s death in 1965.
The exhibition compliments Abbot Hall Art Gallery’s own impressive collection of modern and contemporary artwork, transforming the intimate galleries with a sublime array of masterpieces that provide an opportunity to be submerged into the world of the Bloomsbury Group.
Helen Watson, director of exhibitions and collections for Lakeland Arts Trust - which owns Abbot Hall and Blackwell Arts and Crafts House at Bowness - was captivated on her initial viewing.
“From my first visit to view this eclectic collection I was overwhelmed by the quality of artwork and breadth of artists,” explained Helen. “The exhibition features work by some of the greatest British and international artists from the 20th Century and tells the intriguing story of the people behind this fabulous collection.”
Julian Machin, curator of the Radev Collection, said the remarkable thing about the collection is that it is deeply personal having been formed by three individuals over the course of time. He added: “The variety and strength of the collection makes it fit like a hand in glove into Abbot Hall, a gallery known for its high standard of exhibitions.”
The Radev Collection: Bloomsbury and Beyond runs until December 21.
Abbot Hall is open Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-5pm.
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