Gill Hedley is a writer, an independent curator and a consultant on contemporary visual arts. The menu to the left leads to different aspects of her work. On some pages blue links in bullet points open for more detail. Below are current and recent projects, with more on the archive pages.
The next biography, currently at the research stage, will be of Lady Norton. Born Noel Evelyn Hughes, always known as Peter, she founded The London Gallery in 1936 until her husband’s diplomatic career took them first to Poland, then to Switzerland during the war and finally to the British Embassy in Greece.
She was a dealer, a collector, patron, fundraiser and a tireless worker for children’s charities. She was an expert skier, worked in the advertising business in the 1920s and a supporter of Bauhaus emigres in the 1930s, especially her close friends Marcel Breuer and Hebert Bayer: who she met skiing. Supporting artists, especially the international avant-garde, was the main function of The London Gallery. Helping people, with scant regard for propriety, was her raison d’être.
Peter Norton with Field Marshall Montgomery
The Church Commissioners have applied successfully to Westminster City Council to have a green plaque installed to mark the site of the Drian Gallery in Porchester Place. Gill wrote a report in support of the application and subsequently extended her researches for the marketing that will, eventually, accompany the unveiling of the plaque.
Halima Nalęcz (Halina Maria Krzywicz-Nowohonska), an artist born in Poland and who trained in her native country and in England, opened her own gallery at 7 Porchester Place W2 in a previous butcher’s shop. She named it after Mondrian whose work she had go tot know in Paris: Mon Drian Gallery / My Drian Gallery.
From 1957 until 1989 she staged exhibitions that not only championed abstraction, Halima’s first love, but also a more general international avant-garde including constructivism and new figuration. She was a continuous supporter of Polish art and gave a retrospective to Marian Bohusz-Szyszko, her teacher. He later married Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement: they met as a result of her seeing his paintings in the Drian Gallery.
I am researching a book on the life and works of the second-generation Palladian architect Henry Flitcroft 1697-1769. He is best known - even nicknamed Burlington Harry - for his work with his patron Lord Burlington and at St Giles in the Fields, Wentworth Woodhouse and above all Stourhead.
A group of architectural historians and other specialists recently met at Hoares Bank to discuss Flitcroft's life and works. A powerpoint presentation was created for this event, available from the Georgian Group, which has featured Flitcroft as a research topic - link to Georgian Group (www)
JUMP TO NEW ARTHUR JEFFRESS WEBSITE
This was the title of Arthur Jeffress’ first exhibition in his own gallery, showing the work of the very strange artist E. Box. Inevitably, I am writing to state the obvious fact that the book launch of the Jeffress biography, so kindly offered by the Redfern Gallery on 7 April, is cancelled.
The exhibition in Southampton City Art Gallery is also postponed. I plan to create some kind of website/blog to recreate part of the exhibition on line and show many more images from his splendid photo albums than either book or show allowed. I excised much material from the book and will add some of that, too.
So that is my attempt to be positive as I bear in mind how many artists, actors, musicians and all the support staff are really suffering professionally.
As we all spend more time at home, and people find amazing ways to communicate and entertain themselves and us,
may I suggest – much more bluntly than I would have done at the party – that, before the warehouse shuts down, you
order Arthur Jeffress: A Life in Art. It really is quite funny and is all about a
very different world to this one:
→ E-book: www.bloomsbury.com/uk/arthur-jeffress-9781838602826/ (www)
→ Real book: www.bloomsbury.com/uk/arthur-jeffress-9781838602819/ (www)
To quote the marvellous Robin Muir’s words on the dust jacket:
Picaresque and tragic by turns, packed full
of incident, Gill Hedley has breathed new life into a near forgotten figure. Soon not to have heard of Arthur
Jeffress will be seen as betraying a shameful ignorance of our art historical past.
If you can review it or suggest some who might do so, please contact Carly.Bull@bloomsbury.com who is in charge of PR, to receive a review copy. There will, sadly, be more space for book reviews in the art press than normal.
With all best wishes for your good health and high spirits.
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