MENDEZ, Theo

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Theo Mendez

1934-1997

Theo Mendez was an artist in oil, acrylic and collage who was born in and lived in London. He studied at Camberwell School of Art, 1950-7, and at London University 1957-8. Teachers included Martin Bloch and Michael Rothenstein. Mendez taught at Camberwell 1958-84, becoming head of textiles in 1976, before retiring to paint full-time. He took part in group shows at Redfern Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Bear Lane Gallery in Oxford and Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, and in the 1972 and 1979 John Moores Liverpool Exhibitions. Retrospectives included Duncan Campbell Fine Art in 2002, four solo shows at Highgate Fine Art and an exhibition of his early oils at Whitfield Fine Art, London in 2010. Museum of London holds his work.

Mendez frequently visited Paris, soaking up the atmosphere in cafes and getting inspiration for new paintings and collages and a trip to New York in 1980 added breadth to his vision. In 1990 Mendez wrote about his painting “It is not representational or literal .. but sometimes symbolic of an event or place witnessed, felt or experienced … a moment in time. Each work must ultimately stand by itself without being part of a series or having a title or clue as to its origin. I love the variety of the medium, the spreading of colour and the interaction of colour and colour areas …sometimes the work comes almost directly via music, to which I listen constantly – several hours every day, like food and drink. It is essential if I achieve anything at all, it has, for me, to stand lasting contemplation”.

 

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ROONEY, Mick

Mick Rooney - Meeting Place

Mick Rooney

1944-

Mick Rooney was born in Epsom, Surrey and studied at Wimbledon School of Art 1962-64 and Royal College of Art 1964-7. He lives in Mortlake. Rooney won the Rome Scholarship, attending the British School in Rome 1967-8. A highly regarded figurative artist, known for lively café and crowd scenes, Rooney was elected to the Royal Academy in 1991. He exhibited from the early 1960s with solo shows at Fulham Gallery, London, Amsterdam and the Hague. He has since shown widely internationally, including in the United States and in the UK at venues such as New Grafton Gallery and elsewhere.

 

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SARACHI, Chatin

Chatin Sarachi - Tower Bridge

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:
Chatin Sarachi
1902-1974

Chatin Sarachi (in Albanian Paskal “Çatin” Saraçi) was an Albanian painter and politician. Sarachi first went to England on a diplomatic mission in 1933 but, with the occupation of Albania by the Italian army in 1939, he gave up his diplomatic career and decided to remain in London and concentrate on painting. That year he met Oskar Kokoschka who became a close friend and admirer of Sarachi as well as a constant influence on his work. They shared a Kensington studio. Sarachi is thought of as an Expressionist but was also greatly influenced by Oriental art. His first solo exhibition was held in 1945 at the Redfern Gallery, London. This exhibition was followed by another two, in the mid fifties. A fourth in 1975, a retrospective following Sarachi’s death, showed some fifty paintings. Over the years, Sarachi participated in several group shows and had regular one man exhibitions in London, Paris and Dublin. The last exhibition of his work was held at the Pride Gallery in London in 1988.

 

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SAUTER, Rudolf

Rudolf Sauter - Cloud formation

Rudolf Sauter

1895-1977

Rudolf Helmut Sauter (often known as R H Sauter) was a painter, printmaker, illustrator and poet, son of the artist George Sauter. He was educated at Harrow School, studying art in London and Munich, his father having come from Bavaria. Sauter had strong literary interests, being a member of the writers’ club PEN; he illustrated a definitive edition of works by his uncle John Galsworthy. Sauter showed at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Pastel Society, in the provinces, at the Paris Salon where he gained an Hon. Mention, and widely in the United States. Had one-man shows in London and New York. Although Sauter’s work is mainly figurative, in later life he did a series of abstracts. Many of Sauter’s paintings were destroyed by a fire in the 1980s but National Portrait Gallery, Government Art Collection, Royal Watercolour Association and Ferens Art Gallery in Hull hold his work. Cornelia Parker chose a 1935 Sauter portrait as part of her hang of the Government Art Collection at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2011.

 

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SCHETTINI, Ulrico

Ulrico Schetttini - Torso 4

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:

Ulrico Schettini
1932-

Ulrico Schettini was born in Cosenza, in the Italian Marches. After studying art at Pesaro, Paris and Rome he settled in England in 1958. An academically-inclined artist, during the 1960s and early 1970s he lectured at Hull College of Arts and Crafts, Carlisle College of Art and Design, Hornsea College of Art, the City Literary Institute and King’ College London. He worked in New York in 1964 and from 1966-71 lectured annually in America under the auspices of the Association of American Colleges. Schettini’s early work was fiercely modernist, being “emotionally powerful” and displaying a chromatic austerity that “blends a basic outline of form with a free graphic improvisation within that form” (Art News and Review Jan 1959). Critics at the time equated his art with modern jazz movements. From the mid-1960s Schettini began producing more figurative work, in a strong expressive, dark style.

Schettini first solo exhibition was at the experimental New Vision Gallery in London in 1958, followed by one in Newcastle. He then exhibited in London at the Drian Gallery in 1959 and the Institute for Contemporary Art in 1961. He had group shows in London, Paris and Milan and then had a major retrospective exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery, Hull in 1966 which attracted international attention. About this time, though, despite the acclaim, he destroyed many works and disappeared to Italy to find himself again as an artist. He took ‘Montefiore’ as his professional name in homage to two potters he worked with there. A large exhibition of his subsequent work, which now included many ancient and archaeological influences, was given at the Café Royal, London in 1972 and a still more important exhibition at the Palazzo della Permanente, Milan in 1974. Wildensteins in New York also sold his work.

Montefiore moved back to Italy in the 1970s and continues to exhibit there. His work underwent another dramatic shift in the 1980s. He turned to a wider variety of media – he is currently working on stained glass, metals and ceramics as well as painting – and shifted entirely to representational art. The main motive behind this was religious and he now mainly concentrates on large-scale commissions for Catholic institutions in Peru, Spain and Italy. He taught at the Academy of Fine Arts at Brera, Milan. Schettini’s work is held by Northwestern College, Orange City in Indiana and California University of Pennsylvania, South Australia House, London and other public collections.

 

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SPENDER, Humphrey

Humphrey Spender

1910-2005

Humphrey Spender, brother of poet Stephen Spender, was a designer and renowned photographer on Mass Observation as well as an accomplished artist. London-born but based in New Malden in Essex in later years, Spender initially trained as an architect before turning to photography, design and art. He said he hoped that his paintings, many powerful but impressionistic depictions of marshlands and rivers in Essex, “might make people see differently”. As well as numerous mixed shows, Spender had solo painting exhibitions at the Redfern, Leicester Galleries and New Art Centre in London and at many provincial venues. Tate Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Government Art Collection, British Council and many provincial galleries hold his work.

 

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STURGESS-LIEF, Christopher

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHY:
Christopher Sturgess-Lief

1937-2011

Chris Sturgess-Lief was a self-taught painter who created evocative and poetic pictures using a highly individual private symbolism. Adopted  as a baby, possibly from ethnic German parents in the Soviet Union, Sturgess-Lief was schooled at Sherborne, Dorset. After army service in Malaya, he then moved to London and began showing on the Hyde Park railings in the early 1960s. He was spotted by Victor Musgrave of Gallery One, who gave Sturgess-Lief a solo show in 1962. He also exhibited at Rye Art gallery in 1969 and took part in mixed shows at New Vision Centre, Leicester Galleries, Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol in 1963 and others in Japan and the United States.

 

His Red Painting was included in the Belgrave Gallery’s 1992 show British abstract art of the 1950s and 60s, and in 1997 Julian Hartnoll in St James’ put on a solo exhibition of his work.  A contemporary of the highly sought after Martin Bradley and Alan Davie, his work is comparable both in terms of style and quality.

 

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