The Fine Art Society holding a major retrospective of the British painter, Gluck (1895-1978). Featuring 32 works the exhibition will explore the fascinating life, work and legacy of a pioneering artist of her generation. Born Hannah Gluckstein to a wealthy family, she began to call herself 'Gluck' (“no prefix, suffix, or quotes”) at 23 and had adopted men's clothing, cropped her hair, and begun to smoke a pipe.
Fiercely individual and rebellious, Gluck identified with no artistic school or movement and showed her work only in solo exhibitions, where it was displayed in a special frame she invented and patented. ‘The Gluck Frame’ had a three-tiered design and was painted or papered to match the wall on which it was hung, giving the illusion that the painting was part of the architecture of the room. It was exhibited at British Art in Industry exhibitions and became an integral part of Modernist and Art Deco interiors of the 1930s.
Inspired by natural light and sweeping Cornish landscapes, Gluck began to paint en plein air, producing many of her best landscapes and genre scenes there throughout her career.
In the 1920s and 30s, Gluck moved to the London art scene, where she gained recognition for her portraits of glamorous women and captivating floral still lifes. These highly stylised works were inspired by the floral arrangements of Constance Spry, a fashionable society florist. Through Spry, Gluck gained access to London’s leading socialites, painting the portraits of Baroness Molly Mount Temple, costume designer Margaret Watts and popular novelist Susan Ertz.
The Fine Art Society and Gluck have a long history together since her first exhibition at the gallery in 1926, followed by two more in 1932 and 1937. Following a thirty-six-year hiatus from exhibiting in the gallery, in 1973, Gluck then marched into the Fine Art Society and demanded another solo show. Realised later that year, Gluck’s exhibition of 52 works was well-received by critics, curators and collectors, and firmly re-established her reputation as one of the major figures of her period. This was to be her last exhibition before her death in 1978. Gluck runs concurrently with two other exhibitions. In Gallery 2 there is a show of contemporary female artists who have been asked to respond to Gluck's legacy through their own original artwork. In Gallery 3 there is an exhibition of Modern British Women that explores both the celebrated and lesser known artists working throughout the 20th-century.