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On this day in December...

Important events from The Redfern Gallery archives
December 1, 2021

The latest entry as part of a new, regular feature providing a summary of important historical events that relate to the Redfern and its artists. 


1 December 1953   Russian Emigre Artists opens at the Redfern. This important exhibition features the work of more than twenty artists, including Chagall, Jawlensky and Soutine. Reviewed in The Listener by David Sylvester, who writes: "The exhibition as a whole quite carries one away, because of the intense delight it transmits in the act of painting". 
1 December 1999   Opening of the Eileen Agar retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the first public museum to stage a retrospective of her work. Agar has since had retrospectives at Pallant House Gallery, the Jerwood, and most recently, the Whitechapel Gallery in 2021.
2 December 1989   The Redfern dedicates its stand at the London Original Print Fair to the linocuts of Cyril Edward Power. The exhibition showcases a large number of prints, including rare working proofs. A catalogue is also published, which provides the first in-depth listing of his complete prints. Power's linocuts were debuted at the Redfern in 1929, and went on to feature in a further eleven mixed exhibitions at the gallery throughout the 1930s.   
4 December 1979   First day of the Ediciones Polígrafa exhibition, where a new suite of twenty original prints, in a limited edition of 100 (plus a standard edition of 1,000) is unveiled at The Redfern Gallery. Co-published by Ediciones Polígrafa, Barcelona, and the Redfern, the contributing artists include Christo, Miró, Graham Sutherland, Antoni Tàpies and Zao Wou-ki. 
7 December 1965   Opening of a mixed exhibition of nearly 500 original prints, from the leading artists of the day. British artists include Henry Moore, John Piper and William Scott, while among the many international printmakers represented are Sam Francis, Giacometti and Pierre Soulages. 
8 December 1982   The Redfern publishes three new topiary prints - The Stilt Garden, The Egyptian Garden and The Fox - by Norman Stevens, which are shown together for the first time at the gallery. The Stilt Garden, published a year earlier, won a major prize at the 1981 Bradford Print Biennale, and impressions of The Stilt Garden and The Egyptian Garden are sold to the British Council. The following year, Stevens is elected an Associate of the Royal Academy for his printmaking.  
10 December 1949   Final day of William Gear's joint-exhibition with Jackson Pollock, at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. Gear had been recommended to Parsons by Eduardo Paolozzi, and he remains the only British artist to have shared an exhibition with Pollock. Of the exhibits, Landscape Structure is now in the Tate's permanent collection. 
12 December 1953   Still Life, Aubergines and Corn Cob by Michael Ayrton is sold to the Government Art Collection. The painting was seen for the first time in a mixed exhibition of new work by Ayrton, Sutherland, Bryan Wynter and Michael Rothenstein at the Redfern, in October.   
24 December 1942   Final day of Edward Burra's solo exhibition, his first at the Redfern, in which Soldiers at Rye, an important and monumental watercolour of 1941, is on loan from the Tate Gallery, and is reproduced in black and white on the front cover of the catalogue.  
27 December 1973   Opening of Portraits at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which features Patrick Procktor's watercolour of Cecil Beaton. Drawn from MoMA's permanent collection, the artists include Chagall, De Chirico and Modigliani. The portrait of Cecil Beaton was first shown at a solo exhibition at the Redfern in 1968.