The Courtauld announces its Autumn exhibitions programme
The Courtauld Gallery has announced details of its Autumn exhibitions programme, opening on 14 October 2022.
Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion, Fantasy, Fetishism
14 Oct 2022 – 8 Jan 2023
One of the most original and eccentric artists of the 18th century, Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) will be the subject of a new exhibition in the Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries.
Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion, Fantasy, Fetishism will reveal the artist’s secret lifelong obsession with the female figure through fifty of his strange and striking private drawings, many of which depict the spectacularly extravagant hairdos and fashions of the day. The exhibition will unpick Fuseli’s fascination with female sexuality and the modern woman – as a figure of mystery, transgression, and dangerous allure – and provide an insight into late 18th and early 19th century anxieties about gender, identity, and sexuality during a transformative period in European history.
Organised in collaboration with the Kunsthaus Zürich, the exhibition will showcase drawings brought together from international collections and will be accompanied by a catalogue presenting new research. Following its presentation at The Courtauld, the exhibition will travel to Zürich, the city where Fuseli was born. Book tickets
Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel
14 Oct 2022 – 29 Jan 2023
Pioneering artist Helen Saunders (1885–1963), one of the first British artists to pursue Abstraction whose work fell into obscurity for years, will be celebrated in a new exhibition in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery until 29 Jan 2023.
Helen Saunders was one of only two women to join the Vorticists, a radical but short-lived artistic movement that emerged in London on the eve of the First World War, whose members included Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound. Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel will be the first monographic exhibition devoted to Helen Saunders in over 25 years. It will showcase a remarkable group of 18 of the artist’s drawings and watercolours, gifted in 2016 by her relative Brigid Peppin, which has transformed The Courtauld into the largest public collection of Saunders’s work in the world. The drawings trace her artistic development, from glimpses into her early period as an artist in the orbit of Roger Fry and the Bloomsbury Group, to a landmark group of six drawings from her Vorticist period. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.
A Modern Masterpiece Uncovered: Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saunders and Praxitella
14 Oct 2022 – 12 Feb 2023
To coincide with Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel in the Drawings Gallery, a new display – A Modern Masterpiece Uncovered: Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saunders and Praxitella – will open in The Courtauld’s Project Space.
In 2019, two former Courtauld students, Rebecca Chipkin and Helen Kohn, were investigating the painting Praxitella (1921) by Wyndham Lewis, one of the highlights of the collection of Leeds Art Gallery, as part of a research project at The Courtauld’s Department of Conservation. The painting depicts a portrait of pioneering film critic and curator Iris Barry. Scholars have previously suspected that Lewis painted over an earlier composition, as the surface of the painting has an uneven texture and forms lurking underneath, as well as different colours visible through cracks in the paint layers.
During their six-month technical analysis of Praxitella, the students identified the artwork beneath Wyndham Lewis’ painting as one by his friend and colleague Helen Saunders – a fellow member of the radical, short-lived British Vorticist group who was known to have fallen out with him.
All of Saunders’ Vorticist paintings were thought to be lost before now, and this new display will present Lewis’ Praxitella alongside the x-ray and partial colour reconstruction of Atlantic City, as well as a range of technical material to tell the story of this remarkable discovery.