This exhibition showcases George’s devotion to the landscape, especially that surrounding his home in Suffolk, and celebrates his dedication to the particularity of things, light, and atmosphere. George, alongside his contemporary Euan Uglow, was part of a generation of painters who resisted the pull of abstraction, following a procedural system of painting introduced to them by William Coldstream at Camberwell School of Art, resulting in an idiosyncratic style, seen here.
Famous for his all-weather gear, George could often be found painting outside come rain or shine, and observing the atmosphere, light and feel of the working countryside. With many of his works painted over a series of months, George would superimpose changes brought about by the climate and season, producing paintings which evoke the essence of the land while retaining a sense of clarity, precision and a wonderful freshness.
In amongst the verdant landscapes, this exhibition also presents works of still-life, and views surrounding George’s London home, Moreton Terrace, in which he plays with the abstract while continuing to emphasise the immediacy of his surroundings.
George was an English painter who taught at the Slade School of Fine Art in London for most of his career. He attended Edinburgh College of Art (1941-21) and, after demobilisation from the Navy, Camberwell School of Art (1946-49) where the teaching staff included Sir William Coldstream, Lawrence Gowing and Victor Pasmore. After graduation he took up a part-time post at the Slade where he remained until 1988, at which time he was both Professor of Fine Art and Director of the School. George was given a retrospective at the Serpentine in 1980 and Browse and Darby has represented him since 1984.
‘I have to get outside to paint landscapes.
Outside, I am exposed to the same elements as my subject…
the wind that shakes the twig shakes my outstretched arm…
we both get wet or scorched by the sun.
Outside there is no cool appraisal,
you just have to get on with it as best you can.
Always in haste to catch the dream, there is no time to lose.’
[Patrick George, 2003]