Thursday, April 4, 2013

Falling artists - Graham Ovendon

David Inshaw and Silbury

An article in the Guardian caught my attention yesterday it was about one of the artists in the Brotherhood of Ruralists.  I will not judge on moral grounds whether Graham Ovendon, was guilty or not of the crime he was prosecuted for - Artist Found Guilty of Historic Child Offences - this lies in the hands of judge and jury but what sparked my interest was the art critic's view Picture of Regressive Decadence by  Jonathon Jones, who explains that by the 1970s when Ovendon was starting to paint, his group (his wife Annie Ovendon, David Inshaw, Peter Blake, and Graham Arnold )  had rejected the forward-looking movement of the 1960s pop art and had turned inwardly or regressively into an "ironic Victorianism" which of course can be seen in the play on words aping The Pre-raphaelites in their choice of naming their group Ruralists. 
My interest was sparked when I went to see an exhibition of their paintings, fell in love with Annie Ovendon's work and Paul Nash at the same time, so have always kept an eye out for news, and the fact that when they had formed a group they lived in the village of Wellow in Wiltshire, but had never painted the famous long barrow up there - Stoney Littleton - were they too lazy too walk along the little lane I wonder.  Silbury features quite a lot in their work,
David Inshaw and an Aerial View of Silbury

Well punishment has been swift at the Tate, Graham Ovendon 34 pictures have been removed, I am  not sure whether they had any of his more salacious paintings of drawings done for 'Lolita' but here are two cloudy landscapes...

May Day by Graham Ovendon


  1. I particularly like the Inshaw ones. Very interesting post - thank you!

  2. Thanks Em, David Inshaw is pretty good, owls, flowering hawthorn trees and Silbury are some of my favourite images. In fact another painting by him was on F/B, will capture it;)