Piano Nobile is pleased to present the first solo show of Mark Gertler's work for a decade. Within this time we have had the pleasure of handling several important paintings by Gertler. Working with a committed and passionate collector, we have helped to build one of the most significant collections of Gertler's work in recent years.
This show is a collection of private works rarely shown in public and never before seen together. It includes a number of works from Gertler's Boxer series that have not been hung together since they were painted, giving a great insight into the working processes of one of Britain's foremost avant-garde artists of the 20th century. The show tracks his development from a young ambitious art student who had recently left the Slade, through
the most intense artistic and emotional years of his life and culminating in some of his most
successful works and the development of his mature style.
This progression does not only speak for Gertler, but tells the story of the highs of pre-War Britain and the lows that were to follow. In his life Gertler was a household name, to the extent that when he committed suicide in 1939 it caused a national stir and made front-page news. Like so many British artists he was left behind as new and more revolutionary events engulfed the minds of the population in the second half of the 20th century.
Now, as the Modern British period is being re-evaluated, it is only right that Gertler should be included in the reappraisals of this period. David Boyd Haycock's recent book A Crisis of Brilliance set Gertler amongst his brilliant peers (Carrington, Nash, Nevinson and Spencer) and helps us see them in an international context. Curator Sarah MacDougall's insightful text follows her biography of Mark Gertler. It incorporates newly-researched facts about many of the works and is a prelude to the catalogue raisonn. she is preparing. Several of the images are reproduced in colour print for the first time and one work is reattributed.