Prunella Clough and John Piper at the Jerwood Gallery
The Jerwood Gallery in Hastings is rapidly becoming one of our favourite places to go.They are on a roll, with super little focussed shows, intelligently making use of their relatively small space to best effect.
Prunella Clough’s early work is fascinating; her later work of no interest whatsoever. I don’t know what happened to her. It all looked so promising and all went so wrong. In the late 1940s/early 50s she was part of a wave of young artists breathing life into representation. She faced the usual issues of saying something new using traditional methods and she achieved something. She should really have pushed on from her workmen and lorries and ladders and become an important British artist of the second half of the century. In fact she didn’t. I don’t know what her auction record is but it will be relatively low and none of the later abstract works that I have seen are likely to elevate her market status at all.
It is very cruel setting her up to be compared to the Titanic qualities of the wonderful John Piper. I think he has a good claim to be one of the greatest British artists of the 20th C. I love his work and admire his amazing fluidity in so many forms and media. This is yet another demonstration of his great quality.
So go to the Jerwood; join as a member; see these smart little shows and enjoy lovely Hastings.