|We'll be launching the new book at the RWA, Bristol, on Saturday 10 March!|
After the phenomenal success of Ravilious shows in Eastbourne (Towner, 2010) and Saffron Walden (Fry Art Gallery, 2011), it will be wonderful to see a substantial body of work on display in the West of England. I haven't seen a full list of pictures yet, but there will definitely be some favourites on show, alongside paintings that people may not have seen before.
|from Ladies Who Travel|
He was particularly influential in the 1920s as a champion of wood engraving and watercolour. These were in no sense new media, but they had been so neglected in the 19th century that they must have seemed fresh and exciting to young artists in the aftermath of the Great War. Nash's 1924 exhibition of landscapes in watercolour was a dazzling success, but with most of the pictures in private hands it is difficult for us to appreciate just how good - and how innovative - this work was.
We are much luckier with Ravilious, who was studying with Nash at the time and went on to master both of his teacher's favourite media. As a wood engraver he was rarely surpassed - a fact that was acknowledged during his lifetime - but as a watercolourist the very good reputation he had built up before his death is only now recovering from a long period of neglect. It's wonderful that so many of his paintings have survived, in excellent condition, and that so many are either in public collections or owned by people who are more than willing to lend them for exhibitions.
|Eric Ravilious, Interior at Furlongs, 1939 (DACS)|
|David Hockney, Winter Timber|
Eric Ravilious: Going Modern/Being British is at the RWA, Bristol, from 10 March until 29 April
David Hockney: A Bigger Picture is at the RA, London, until 9 April
We will be launching 'Ravilious in Pictures: A Travelling Artist' at the RWA, Bristol, on 10 March, and on 24 March I will be giving an illustrated talk based on my researches for the new book, also at the RWA.