Pauline Boty in the new issue of The Herald magazine

Pauline Boty, The Herald Magazine review. Photo by Jorge Lewinski.

Jorge Lewinski’s photograph of Pauline Boty has been chosen by the latest issue of The Herald Magazine with a brief biography of her to illustrate their book review of London’s New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s [see News item, 12 May].

The review notes “Pauline Boty is one of the great what-ifs of the 1960s. What might she have gone on to do if she hadn’t died of cancer in 1966, aged just 28? She packed plenty into her short life as it was. Actor, broadcaster, proto-feminist, regular dancer on Ready Steady Go and, of course, the only British pop artist to be a woman.
Boty’s good looks and whirlwind energy marked her out as a very 1960s creature (she may have been the inspiration for Julie Christie’s character in the film version of Billy Liar). The truth is she also suffered from bouts of depression and had to deal with the casual sexism of the age. Her lasting legacy is the vibrancy and the immediacy of her art.
Boty is just one of the artists whose work features in Lisa Tickner’s comprehensive survey of the burgeoning art scene in London 60 years ago, taking in everyone from Gilbert & George to David Hockney.”

The Herald newspaper’s homepage is here: [link]

Pauline Boty in the new issue of Dance Gazette magazine

“London’s New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s” review, Dance Gazette, June 2020

Two works by Pauline Boty have been chosen for June’s Dance Gazette – the magazine for the Royal Academy of Dance – to illustrate their book review of London’s New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s [see previous post].
The review notes “Dance is also in the mix – from the filmmaker Ken Russell, besotted with classic Hollywood musicals, to the artist Pauline Boty, who was a regular dancer on the tv pop series Ready Steady Go! and a dab hand at the twist. ‘All over the country young girls are sprouting, shouting and shaking,’ she said, ‘and if they terrify you they meant to.’”
More info on the magazine is here [link]

New study of 1960s London art world including Pauline Boty is published on 9 June

“London’s New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s” by Lisa Tickner. Cover photo: 4th April 1967: Fab Pop Bash with Rauschenberg © Elsbeth Juda

In London’s New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s Lisa Tickner presents a sequence of critical case studies, each of which explores a particular institution or event in the cultural life of London between 1962 and 1968. Each chapter takes a particular topic as its focus – these include Ken Russell’s film Pop Goes the Easel (1962), the opening of the Kasmin Gallery (1963), the first of the New Generation exhibitions and Painting and Sculpture of a Decade: ’54-’64 at the Whitechapel and Tate Galleries (1964), Lord Snowdon’s photographs of artists in Private View (1965), Antonioni’s London film Blow-Up (1966), and more. The book treats a film, a gallery, an exhibition, a book, a protest, as itself a ’work’: as a creative project in its own right, built from the resources to hand, subject to the pressures of the moment, comparable in its own way to the art it draws on or frames.

Page 44 /fig. 32 Pauline Boty, 1963. Photograph by Jorge Lewinski, Private collection © The Lewinski Archive at Chatsworth/Bridgeman Images

The illustrations include art works by David Hockney, Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Pauline Boty, Bridget Riley, John Latham and Barry Flanagan, photographs by David Bailey, Ida Kar, Jorge Lewinski and Lord Snowdon, and a wide range of film stills, gallery installation shots, advertisements and press photography.” [information courtesy of Yale university Press]

SPECIFICATIONS
Publisher: Paul Mellon Centre
Distribution: Yale University Press
Format: Hardback
Size: 256 x 192mm
Pages: 424pp
Illustrations: 200/80 colour
ISBN: 9781913107109
Price: £35

More information available here [link]

Two documentaries on “Ready Steady Go!” to be screened on BBC4 this evening

The programme was clearly close to Pauline Boty’s heart – she was regularly chosen to as a dancer in the audience with her friend and fellow Pop artist Derek Boshier – and also created “5-4-3-2-1” in 1963 in its honour with its Cathy McGowan-esque figure and “OH FOR A FU…” lettering. The first documentary includes footage of Boty and Boshier from the party scene concluding Ken Russell’s “Pop Goes The Easel”.
Further information from and links to the BBC website below:

“The story of Britain’s iconic 1960s music show, Ready Steady Go! The programme revolutionised television ‘for the kids’ and coincided with the tremendous explosion of British pop talent that took the world by storm. It championed emerging talent like The Beatles, The Who, Sandie Shaw, Cilla Black, Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones.”

The Story of Ready Steady Go!
BBC4, 21:00, Friday 20th March 2020
We go behind the scenes and speak to the people who made it all happen, including original producer Vicki Wickham and the programme’s pioneering director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Plus further contributions from Annie Nightingale, Eric Burdon, Chris Farlowe, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Paul Jones, Gerry Marsden and Jools Holland.
Further information available here [link]

The Best of Ready Steady Go!
BBC4, 22:00, Friday 20th March 2020
This priceless archive has rarely been seen and includes some of the most memorable performances from the greatest stars of the day. Tune in to see The Beatles perform Twist and Shout on a moving stage, The Rolling Stones presenting their very own episode, and Otis Redding’s sensational duet with Chris Farlowe and Eric Burdon. Other acts include Cilla Black, Lulu, and Martha and the Vandellas. Dusty Springfield also takes centre stage.
Further information available here [link]

5-4-3-2-1, 1963, oil on canvas

Pauline Boty with “Scandal ’63” by Michael Ward on display at the National Portrait Gallery

Pauline Boty by Michael Ward, 13 January 1964, C-type colour print

The portrait of Pauline Boty with her presumed lost work “Scandal ’63” is on display in “The UK 1960–Today” in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery.

“The display includes groups of portraits by particular artists, inviting the viewer to consider the range of contrasting approaches. While the challenge of depicting an observed sitter remained, a rich stylistic diversity characterises portraiture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

From the early 1960s the pace of social, political and artistic change in Britain gathered momentum. Food rationing ended only in 1954 and a growing affluence and a new mood of prosperity gave rise to increasing consumerism. Television, cinema, radio, advertising and magazines fuelled these changes by swiftly communicating the latest developments in fashion, design, music, science and the arts. But the optimism of the early 1960s was, by the end of the decade, replaced by a sense that the dream of progress had somehow slipped away. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s inequality in material wealth increasingly created new hierarchies and social tension.” [from the National Portrait Gallery website]

With thanks to Terence Pepper for the notification. More information on the portraits on display can be found here: [link]

New “Sources” section now available online

This new section lists some of the sources for titles of Pauline Boty’s paintings such as “Monica Vitti with Heart” shown below. In future the intention is to expand it further and also add information on the content she included, such as the names of individuals featured in the works. Access the new section here [link]

Monica Vitti with Heart, 1963, oil on canvas

New interview with Derek Boshier at paulineboty.org – extracts below:

Paulineboty.org: What were your first impressions when you met Pauline Boty?
Derek Boshier: My first impressions on meeting Pauline were the same as almost everybody. She was a very vivacious, glamorous intellectual. You know. And a lot of fun –the fact that she should have died so early aged 28… I mean, she loved life, you know – and she knew how to live it. She was just good to be around really. And that aspect of her, knowing how to live life, really fed her paintings too.

PBO: Did Pauline express her frustration at having to study stained glass instead of art as she’d originally wanted to?
DB: No. Mainly because she wasn’t a complainer. Politics though – Yes – but not her personal life. The Anti-Ugly March she organised for example, which I went on. She was the figurehead for that. The point about her is that she said her mind – not only in paintings with sensuality and sexuality, but she said it with architecture. I mean she was very direct.

PBO: And your painting “Pauline Boty Goes Digital [for Pauline Boty]”. How did that come about?
DB: Well it’s a very large painting that I made in 2011. You know, I always think of Pauline and what she did and I’m often reminded of her when people write to me and ask me about her or “Pop Goes the Easel” and I remember my friendship with her. I was about to start a new series of paintings about smartphones and I just thought before I do that I’d like to do a homage to Pauline as it were, just to help keep her in people’s memory really.

Full interview here: [link]

Phaidon’s “Great Women Artists” includes Pauline Boty and “Colour Her Gone”

“Five centuries of fascinating female creativity presented in more than 400 compelling artworks and one comprehensive volume: The most extensive fully illustrated book of women artists ever published, Great Women Artists reflects an era where art made by women is more prominent than ever. In museums, galleries, and the art market, previously overlooked female artists, past and present, are now gaining recognition and value.

Featuring more than 400 artists from more than 50 countries and spanning 500 years of creativity, each artist is represented here by a key artwork and short text. This essential volume reveals a parallel yet equally engaging history of art for an age that champions a greater diversity of voices.” from the Phaidon website

SPECIFICATIONS
Format: Hardback
Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
Pages: 464 pp
Illustrations: 450 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714878775

More information available here: [link]

Evelyne Axell exhibition in Namur references influence of Pauline Boty on collage work

Exhibition poster, Service de la Culture de la Province de Namur

From 21 September 2019 to 26 January 2020, Evelyne Axell: Pop Methods”: a major exhibition of the work of Evelyne Axell (Namur, 1935 – Zwijnaerde 1972) is to open the artistic season at the new renovated and extended Delta (previously the Maison de la Culture de Namur – Cultural and Art centre of Namur).
This large-scale event will include paintings, collages, sketches, preparatory drawings, and documents bearing witness to the artist’s working methods and providing opportunities to explore her specific methods, including her use of numerous photographic self-portraits.
At the peak of her time, Evelyne Axell succeeded in mastering the new materials that became available (plexiglass, fur, etc.) to break out of the confines of canvas and experiment, for example, with opaline plexiglass transparencies. Her work reveals her own view of a world gathering pace, where eroticism goes hand in hand with a feminist discourse. The exceptional discovery of 17 of her first works, never exhibited before, provides an opportunity to explore the early stages of her plastic work. These are mainly collages dating from 1964 – which show in particular the influence of English Pop artists (Pauline Boty and Peter Phillips particularly).
This exhibition, conceived in close collaboration with her son, Philippe Antoine, is set to travel through several European countries.

Service de la Culture de la Province de Namur Le Delta / Arts Plastiques / Expositions, Avenue Reine Astrid, 22 B B – 5000 Namur, Belgium


Early Pauline Boty painting discovered!

Untitled by Pauline Boty, 1959, oil on card laid on canvas. 69 x 51 cm
Untitled, 1959, oil on card laid on canvas. 69 x 51 cm

Dating from Boty’s time at the RCA [Royal College of Art] this untitled work has hints of the sensuality she would develop further with some of her key Pop art paintings, but with a palette of autumnal hues she rarely used again. The work is of oil on card laid on canvas and at 69 x 51 cm is large compared to most other surviving works from the period. Excitingly and very unusually it is also prominently signed and dated “Boty.59” on the front.

For further details please enquire using the Contact form or via info@paulineboty.org

Detail of signature and date on recently discovered painting by Pauline Boty.
A rare example of a work by Boty signed and dated on the painting itself.