John Craxton: Drawn from Darkness : Paintings and Drawings 1940-1946

26 May - 25 June 2021

Osborne Samuel Gallery held its first major exhibition of Craxton’s work in May-June 2018 titled ‘John Craxton in Greece – The Unseen Works’ that coincided with the British Museum’s exhibition of Charmed Lives in Greece : GHIKA , CRAXTON , LEIGH FERMOR.  Both exhibitions were hugely well received and well attended. Craxton first went to Greece in 1946 with his then great friend Lucian Freud; Freud returned after six months and Craxton made his life in Greece, settling in Crete apart from a forced period back in Britain when the Greek military came to power.

Our exhibition in the Summer of 2021 will focus on the work that Craxton produced before 1946, a period of arcadian pastoral landscapes of dreamers and poets, befriended by Graham Sutherland whom he accompanied on trips to Pembrokeshire in Wales and financially supported by the aesthete and great benefactor of young artists, Peter Watson through whom he met other artists linked to the Neo-Romantic movement. A new biography by Ian Collins published by Yale University Press will be launched at the exhibition.

Breton Fisherman

John Craxton: Breton Fisherman, c.1945

Dancer in a Landscape

John Craxton: Dancer in a Landscape, 1943

Dorset Landscape

John Craxton: Dorset Landscape, 1942-43

Dreamer in a Pastoral Landscape

John Craxton: Dreamer in a Pastoral Landscape, c.1942

Dreamer on the Seashore

John Craxton: Dreamer on the Seashore, 1944-45

Exotic Plant I

John Craxton: Exotic Plant I, 1942

Exotic Plant II

John Craxton: Exotic Plant II, 1942

Exotic Plant III

John Craxton: Exotic Plant III, 1942

Figure in Landscape

John Craxton: Figure in Landscape, 1942

Haunted Figure

John Craxton: Haunted Figure, 1941

Head

John Craxton: Head, c.1942

Labourer in Landscape

John Craxton: Labourer in Landscape, c.1945

Man with a Sickle

John Craxton: Man with a Sickle, 1945

Metamorphic Plant I

John Craxton: Metamorphic Plant I, 1942

Portrait of Young Man Looking Down

John Craxton: Portrait of Young Man Looking Down, c.1941

Self Portait

John Craxton: Self Portait, c.1940

Shepherd

John Craxton: Shepherd, c.1943

Shepherd in a Landscape

John Craxton: Shepherd in a Landscape, c.1942

Still Life with Bread Board

John Craxton: Still Life with Bread Board, 1942

Study for Cart Track

John Craxton: Study for Cart Track, 1943

Study for Reaper with a Mushroom

John Craxton: Study for Reaper with a Mushroom, 1944

Tree Forms in a Landscape

John Craxton: Tree Forms in a Landscape, 1942

Tresco Foliage

John Craxton: Tresco Foliage, 1947