Over 50 drawings and sketches will be displayed, alongside works from Mottisfont’s own collection and drawings by contemporary artist David Breuer-Weil for his sculpture Alien, installed in the parkland at Mottisfont until the autumn.
The Schlee Collection: Drawings from Henry Moore to David Hockney features works by major artists including Graham Sutherland, Peter Lanyon, Stanley Spencer and Gillian Ayres. Visitors will be able to enjoy portraits and landscapes, as well as observational drawings, abstract works and compositional sketches.
Highlights include studies by Sutherland for his crucifixion paintings, where stark black lines and dense shading create Christ’s agonised form on the cross. In contrast, Stanley Spencer used delicate pencil outlines to represent stretcher-bearers during the First World War. The show ranges from the energetic scribbles of Frank Auerbach, from which London landscapes take shape, to the exuberant colours of Gillian Ayre’s abstract work and Michael Rothenstein’s designs of birds.
This major private collection was put together by brothers Philip and Nick Schlee.
Home of art-lover Maud Russell in the 1930s, Mottisfont became a hub for literary and artistic figures in the early twentieth century and this is reflected with a vibrant series of changing exhibitions today. The former Augustinian priory is also a permanent home to the Derek Hill Collection, an inspiring collection of art from the same period as the Schlee Collection, and including many of the same artists, a number of whose works are on show in this spring exhibition. Amongst the pieces on view is a drawing by Barbara Hepworth, which will be displayed with borrowed Henry Moore drawings, the artist she learned most from and also influenced in her turn.