Starting 2022 in style at The Gallery is Extraordinary Everyday: The Art and Design of Eric Ravilious. Opening 18 February 2022, read on for a preview of what to expect...
Eric Ravilious was only 39 years old when he died in 1942 on active service, but he had achieved incredible things across the fields of fine art and design. 80 years after his death, this dazzling new exhibition will guide visitors through his brilliant career, showcasing wood engravings, watercolours, books, ceramics and lithographs. Among the many highlights are stunning watercolours from public collections, such as Train Landscape, and rarely-seen works from private collections, such as Room at the William the Conqueror.
Thanks to the generosity of one private collector, the exhibition features an exciting selection of the artist’s designs for Wedgwood, including exquisite pieces from the Alphabet and Garden Implements sets, alongside rarities such as the Coronation Golden Persephone design made for the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1952, two versions of Afternoon Tea, and a set of six mugs in the style of the Edward VIII Coronation Mug. All six have rarely, if ever, been seen together in public.
With a full programme of accompanying events, Extraordinary Everyday is both a celebration of a much-loved artist’s achievements, and an opportunity for collectors and fans to learn more. The inclusion of unfinished works, studies and designs will enable visitors to explore the crossover between fine art and design, the evolution of his mark-making and use of colour. They will be able to follow his development across 20 years in book illustration and watercolour, from student works to masterpieces such as High Street and watercolours shown in his reputation-making 1939 exhibition of watercolours. His work as a war artist is represented by a varied selection, including the beautiful South Coast Beach.
Eric Ravilious loved the simple pleasures of everyday life (a mug of strong tea, a train ride) but also relished any and every opportunity for a celebration. He saw the extraordinary in the everyday and, at the same time, made everyday things seem extraordinary, whether this was in the design he created to decorate an eggcup, or in his marvellous watercolours.
This exhibition is curated by James Russell, previously curator of the 2015 blockbuster Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery. James has written extensively on 20th century British art and design, always exploring the artist's life as much as their work. We look forward to welcoming you to The Gallery in 2022.