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Graham Vivian Sutherland
© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Graham Vivian Sutherland 1977

Graham Vivian Sutherland (1903–1980)

National Portrait Gallery, London

(b London, 24 Aug. 1903; d London, 17 Feb. 1980). British painter, printmaker, and designer. He abandoned an apprenticeship as a railway engineer to study engraving and etching, 1921–6, and up to 1930 worked exclusively as a printmaker. His etchings of this period are in the Romantic and visionary tradition of Samuel Palmer. In the early 1930s he began experimenting with oils (following a decline in the market for prints), and by 1935 he had turned mainly to painting. His paintings of the 1930s show a highly subjective response to nature, inspired mainly by visits to Pembrokeshire. He had a vivid gift of visual metaphor and his landscapes are not topographical, but semi-abstract patterns of haunting and monstrous shapes rendered in his distinctively acidic colouring (Entrance to a Lane, 1939, Tate, London).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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