Boundary Gallery | Spotlight: Entertainment
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Spotlight: Entertainment

Entertainment – Theatre, Ballet, Opera and the Circus

The theme of entertainment has never been far from an artist’s output because in a sense the visual artist is an entertainer.

The world of circus has been a strong attraction – colour and movement and comedy combined with tragedy in the acts of the clowns. 2018 marks the 250th annversary of the birth of British circus that started in 1768 when a cavalry officer set up an amphitheatre in London for acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers and horse riding tricks. Kestelman created a whole series of pastels on this subject. His clowns show the combination of sadness with joy. Another enthusiast for the circus was Chagall, who was commissioned by Vollard to paint a series of gouaches leading to 23 colour and 15 black and white lithographs on this subject.

Ballet has been a favoured theme throughout centuries because of its visual appeal and any prevailing style could be used to illustrate movements. Gertler, inspired by the Ballet Russe that toured England in 1918 for the second time, was a great enthusiast and his large -drawing “Ballet Dancers”, created at his studio in Rudall Crescent, Hampstead, shows Nijinsky and Karsavina in a performance of “Carnaval”. Also inspired by The Ballet Russe was Picasso who designed the set and costumes in 1916-17 for Erik Satie’s one-act ballet by Jean Cocteau.

Music and musicians is another category that has been popular with artists. David Michie, for example was inspired by jazz bands. The Notting Hill Carnival was enjoyed enormously by Herman who created a few watercolours celebrating it.

Theatre has been another attraction with stage and costume designs as well as the action during performances.

 

David Bomberg

David Bomberg (1890-1957), now acknowledged as one of the great 20th century British artists, was a regular visitor to the Ghetto Theatre in the East End of London and this inspired him to create some of his best drawings and inkwashes in 1919. We have three very good examples of these.


David Bomberg
Stairway 1919
Pen and Ink wash
1919
Signed and Dated
26.2 x 20.2 cm
POA

 

David Bomberg
Ghetto Theatre
1919
ink and wash
31 x 20 cms
POA

David Bomberg
Stairs 1919
Pen and Ink Wash
1919
20.5 x 26.5cm
Signed LR

POA

 

Mark Gertler

Mark Gertler (1891-1939) was very interested in ballet, especially in 1918 when the Diaghilev Ballets Russes returned to London. In the Boundary Gallery’s collection there is charcoal drawing much admired by Clive Bell who preferred it to the painting for which this was a preliminary work. It is believed that the drawing is of Nijinsky and Karsavina in the performance of “Carnaval”. It was originally bought by Roger Fry in 1918.It has been in the Boundary Gallery’s collection for over 20 years and was bought directly from a distinguished private collection.

 

Mark Gertler
Ballet Dancers
Charcoal on Paper
1918
68 x 68 cm
On reverse signed
“Mark Gertler Rudall Crescent,
Hampstead NW3”
(artist’s address)

POA

 

 

 

Josef Herman

Josef Herman’s rendition of Koko (or Coco) in 1958 is a good example of the character of a clown; sad,happy….

Later on, with the start of the Notting Hill Carnivals, Herman had a further inspiration, following his series on ballet (he did a series of works when the Kirov Ballet performed in London in 1968). The movements, the vibrancy of the Notting Hill carnival led to the creation of a number of colourful watercolours.

 

Josef Herman
KoKo the Clown
1958
inkwash
inscribed top left
25.2 x 19.5 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

Josef Herman
Coco the Clown
Pencil
inscribed bottom right
25.2 x 20 cm

POA

 

 


Josef Herman
Notting Hill Carnival
1968
Watercolour
20 x 16 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

Josef Herman
Notting Hill Carnival V
Watercolour
20 x 16 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josef Herman
Notting Hill Carnival IV
Watercolour
20 x 16 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josef Herman
Kirov Ballet Rehearsal
1962
pencil
17.5 x 22.5 cm
POA

 

Morris Kestelman

Morris Kestelman RA (1905-1998) was engaged by Tyrone Guthrie after the end of the Second World War to design for some of his productions, including Dr Faustus and we are fortunate to have a pastel of Mephistopheles. Kestelman’s main contribution was his output for the circus. He was commissioned to provide images of the Bertram Mill Circus in Hammersmith in 1937 for a book entitled The Circus in England. He visited every night over six months and produced a great number of sketches in pastel. Sadly, the publication of this book did not get further than the printing of the cover, due to the outbreak of the war – but the Boundary Gallery has been very fortunate in being able to exhibit almost all his pastel drawings and even published in a limited edition of lithographs (edition of 35) of four circus images, selected by Kestelman, all signed and numbered.

 


Morris Kestelman
Mephistopheles
(from Dr Faustus)
pastel
68 x 43 cm

POA

Morris Kestelman
Circus Clowns
pastel
18 x 24.5 cm
POA

Morris Kestelman
Esmeralda
pastel
16 x 16 cm
POA

Morris Kestelman
Circus in England
pastel
14 x 20 cm
POA

 

Morris Kestelman
Circus Spotlight Scene
pastel
18 x 24.5 cm
POA

Morris Kestelman
Bareback Rider Woman and Man
pastel
18 x 24.5 cm
POA

 

 

Morris Kestelman
The Circus Guitarist
pastel
8 x 12 cm
POA

Morris Kestelman
Trapeze Artists
lithograph
edition 30
22.5 x 30 cm
POA

 

 

Morris Kestelman
Busti the Clown
lithograph
edition 30
30 x 22.5 cm
POA

Morris Kestelman
Circus Clowns
lithograph
edition 30
22.5 x 30 cm
POA

Morris Kestelman RA
Bareback Rider
(edition 30)
28 x 37 cm
Colour Lithograph
POA

 

 

Morris Kestelman RA
Circus Rider
(edition 30)
28 x 37 cm
Colour Lithograph
POA

 

 

 

Nelly Vago

Nelly Vago, (1937-2006) was Hungary’s Kossuth prize (the highest prize) winning costume designer. Her career was stellar. Almost immediately after finishing her diploma, she was engaged by various theatres in her country and later became chief costume designer for the National Theatre and the Opera House in Budapest. Her costumes were used for numerous productions including Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Madame Butterfly, Masked Ball, Barber of Seville, Tosca, Aida, Romeo and Juliet, Marriage of Figaro, Othello, The Flying Dutchman. For the theatre she designed costumes for nearly all the Shakespeare, Tcheckov, and Bernard Shaw plays performed at the National Theatre. Her fame was not confined to Hungary. She received the much revered Pirandello Prize in Italy. Agi has a good collection of some of her designs including of the operas mentioned above as well as costumes for Sinbad’s Travels and some Bernard Shaw plays.

 


Nelly Vago
Romeo and Juliet
opening scene
mixed media
34 x 48 cm
POA

 

Nelly Vago
The Tragedy of Men,
Madacs,
mixed media,
ember tragedia
43 x 61 cm
POA


Nelly Vago
Marriage of Love I,
Szerelmi Hazassag
by Bernard Shaw
costume design
26 x 35 cm
POA

 

Nelly Vago
Marriage of Love II,
Szerelmi Hazassag
by Bernard Shaw
costume design
26 x 35 cm
POA

 

Nelly Vago
Sinbad Travels I
mixed media
38 x 24 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

Nelly Vago
Sinbad Travels II
gouache
40 x 24 cm
POA

 

 

 

Nelly Vago
Lovers of the World I
Romeo & Juliet,
Adam & Eve,
Titania & Oberon,
Csongor & Tunde,
70 x 98 cms
POA

Nelly Vago
Lovers of the World II
Roxanne & Cyrano;
Abelard and Eloise,
Anthony & Cleopatra,
and a 19th century couple
1982-83
70 x 98 cms
POA

 

Nelly Vago
Lovers of the World III
Sinbad and his women,
Abelard & Eloise,
Jancsi es Juliska,
and a medieval couple
1982-83
70 x 98 cms
POA

 

Nelly Vago
The Tragedy of Man
mixed media
43 x 61 cms
POA

 

Nelly Vago
The Flying Dutchman
costume design
gouache
43 x 61 cms
POA

Nelly Vago
The Flying Dutchman II
costume design
mixed media
43 x 61 cm
POA

 

David Michie

David Michie, born in 1928 in the South of France , spent his childhood there and  moved to Scotland in 1934. After doing his National Service, he studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1949-1953). After various jobs teaching art, he became Visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Art of Belgrade and the University of California before returning to Edinburgh College of Art to teach painting during the 60s and 1970s. He became Head of the College of Schools of Drawing & Painting from 1982-1990.

He was a member of the Royal Scottish Academy, the Society of Sottish Artists and the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a founding fellow of the Institute of Contemporary Art Scotland. His works hang in the collections of the Tate, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums, the City of Edinburgh Museum.

The vivacity and strong palette of his paintings reflect his childhood spent near the Mediterranean.


David Michie
Jazz Parade with Trombone Players
oil on canvas
92 x 128 cm
POA

 

 

David Michie
Jazz Parade
oil on canvas
92 x 92 cm
POA