Graham Sutherland

1903–1980

Graham Sutherland (24 August 1903 – 17 February 1980) was an English artist most known for his work in glass, fabrics, prints and portraits. 

Printmaking, mostly of romantic landscapes, dominated Sutherland's work during the 1920s. He developed his art by working in watercolours before switching to using oil paints in the 1940s. It is these oil paintings, which often depicted surreal, organic landscapes of the Pembrokeshire coast, that secured his reputation as a leading British modern artist. 

Sutherland served as an official war artist in the Second World War, employed to draw industrial scenes on the British home front. Such was Sutherland's standing in post-war Britain that he was later commissioned to design the massive central tapestry in the new Coventry Cathedral. 'Christ in Glory' took three years to complete and was installed in 1962. Although a practicing Catholic, Sutherland never stopped creating work based on nature and natural forms, sometimes combining religious symbolism with nature. Alongside his own practice, Sutherland taught at a number of art colleges, including Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths College, the latter of which was where he himself had studied.

A number of portrait commissions in the 1950s proved highly controversial, with Winston Churchill openly hating Sutherland's depiction of him. However, after initially refusing to be presented with it at all, he accepted it disparagingly as “a remarkable example of modern art".

 

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Graham Sutherland

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