The uncanny paintings of Algernon Newton (1880-1968). Perhaps the welcome rehabilitation of formerly unfashionable 20th Century British painters has already included the re-discovery of the work of Algernon Newton? If so, I hadn't come across this Royal Academician until recently.
On first sighting Newton's accomplished work looks extremely traditional. In technique and measured, tranquil composition they hark back to Canaletto. But take a look at the subject-matter. Newton was drawn to the shabbier side of London's and Birmingham's suburbs and canal-sides. So yes, these are urban landscapes but there's not a hint of human identification with the people of these areas. In fact people are generally absent and the viewer is presented with silent, deserted and brooding streets suffused with eerie nostalgia and uncanny atmosphere.
Above, a selection of Algernon Newton's urban landscapes. Apologies for lack of dates on certain pictures.
The Neo-Romantic art of Keith Vaughan (1912-77). It's great to see more attention being paid to British painters of the 40s and 50s. The Pallant House Gallery will be showing a retrospective of Keith Vaughan's paintings next month. The exhibition will include some of his semi-abstract figure work of the 60s and the 70s. But its the mysterious and musty rural works of the late 40s which I've long been a fan of. Here's a small helping.