The screen grab below is of a new map containing more than 20 locations in London and its environs associated with Pauline Boty, including where she lived, worked and exhibited and sites shown in Pop Goes the Easel. The map itself with a list of the locations and their relevance below is available here [link]
Please note, some locations are approximate due to the markers being generated from the post codes of the areas in which they fall. We also welcome feedback including suggested locations to add/corrections required via the Contact form here [link]
The Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale starting at 6:00pm on 21 March includes Bum from 1966, and the next day on 22 March starting at 1:00pm the Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale includes two early works, Golden nude and Nude on the beach. All three can be viewed at 8 King St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6QT from 14 March onwards.
The following images and details are all courtesy of Christie’s:
Details PAULINE BOTY (1938-1966) BUM Pencil, ink, watercolour, gouache and collage on paper 19 5/8 x 16 in. (50 x 40.6 cm) Executed in 1966
Provenance A gift from the artist to Kenneth Tynan, and by descent
Exhibited London, Gazelli Art House, “Silver Lining”, March–April 2019, exhibition not numbered
Estimate GBP 60,000 – GBP 80,000
Auction details LOT 1 Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale 21 MARCH 06:00 PM GMT | LIVE AUCTION 21948
Extract from Lot Essay “Gifted by the artist to Kenneth Tynan in 1966, the present work has remained in his family ever since. Unprecedented in Boty’s limited body of work, this collage is the only known study for a major painting and provides a tantalising insight into her working methods. Executed in the same vibrant colours as the oil painting (sold Christie’s London, 22 November 2017, lot 4), the layers of collage reveal the complexity behind this playful composition.
BUM, a splendid and mature work, was Boty’s very last painting and painted after a diagnosis for cancer that ended her life so prematurely, aged only 28 in 1966. In the face of death, it is a wonderfully vibrant piece painted in colours straight from the tube. Commissioned by Kenneth Tynan for his notorious, erotic cabaret Oh! Calcutta! it places her, to the very end, at the cutting edge of the 60s zeitgeist. The title is a play on the French ‘O, quel cul tu as’ (‘O, what an arse you have’) and in a letter to the impresario, William Donaldson, Tynan outlined a gamut of ideas for the show, one of which was ‘a pop art ballet designed by Pauline Boty, based on paintings that focus on the principal erogenous zones’. BUM, intended as the first of a series, took its cue from the punning title. Within a precisely executed proscenium arch the female bottom is exquisitely and sensuously painted, the flesh has a bloom like a peach and the work could be read as a sensuous celebration of life. Yet the meaning is surely more ambiguous. We have a reified body part, set above the demotic title, BUM, rawly proclaimed in chunky san-serif lettering and revealed ‘on stage’ inviting perhaps a slap or a caning as much as a caress. Certainly, any simple celebration of sexual pleasure has been superseded by something more complex and interesting.
We are very grateful to Dr Sue Tate, author of Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman, Wolverhampton, 2013, for preparing this catalogue entry.”
Phaidon describe the new book as follows: “Great Women Painters is groundbreaking book that reveals a richer and more varied telling of the story of painting. Featuring more than 300 artists from around the world, it includes both well-known women painters from history and today’s most exciting rising stars.
Covering nearly 500 years of skill and innovation, this survey continues Phaidon’s celebrated The Art Book series and reveals and champions a more diverse history of art, showcasing recently discovered and newly appreciated work and artists throughout its more than 300 pages and images.
Other artists featured include: Hilma af Klint, Eileen Agar, Sofonisba Anguissola, Cecily Brown, Leonora Carrington, Mary Cassatt, Elaine de Kooning, Marlene Dumas, Nicole Eisenman, Jadé Fadojutimi, Helen Frankenthaler, Artemisia Gentileschi, Maggi Hambling, Carmen Herrera, Gwen John, Frida Kahlo, Tamara de Lempicka, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Plautilla Nelli, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Jenny Saville, Dana Schutz, Lee Krasner and Yayoi Kusama.”
Pauline Boty features on the cover and within the new book This is Tomorrow: Twentieth-century Britain and its Artists by Michael Bird, published by Thames & Hudson.
The publisher’s website describes the book as “A compelling and lively history that examines the lives of British artists from the late-19th century to today” and has the following Overview:
“In This is Tomorrow Michael Bird takes a fresh look at the ‘long twentieth century’, from the closing years of Queen Victoria’s reign to the turn of the millennium, through the lens of the artists who lived and worked in this ever-changing Britain. Bird examines how the rhythms of change and adaptation in art became embedded in the collective consciousness of the nation and vividly evokes the personalities who populate and drive this story, looking beyond individual careers and historical moments to weave together interconnecting currents of change that flowed through London, Glasgow, Leeds, Cornwall, the Caribbean, New York, Moscow and Berlin.
From the American James McNeill Whistler’s defence of his new kind of modern art against the British art establishment in the latter half of the 19th century to the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s melting icebergs in London, he traverses the lives of the artists that have recorded, questioned and defined our times.
At the heart of this original book are the successive waves of displacement caused by global wars and persecution that conversely brought fresh ideas and new points of view to the British Isles; educational reforms opened new routes for young people from working-class backgrounds; movements of social change enabled the emergence of female artists and artists of colour; and the emergence of the mass media shaped modern modes of communication and culture. These are the ebbs and flows that Michael Bird teases out in this panoramic account of Britain and its artists in across the twentieth century.” . Further information is available here: [link]
About the author Michael Bird is a writer, broadcaster, and curator. His books include Artists’ Letters: Leonardo da Vinci to David Hockney, Studio Voices: Artand Life in 20th-Century Britain, and 100 Ideas That Changed Art. In addition, he has been the Goodison Fellow at the British Library, researching the Artists’ Lives archive.
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Format: Hardback [Ebook also available] ISBN 9780500024430 Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.3 cm Pages: 352 Illustrations: 81 Price: £30.00
A new permanent Pop art display entitled Pop Parade has been created at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, featuring Pauline Boty’s 1962 painting Colour Her Gone.
“The painting is a tribute to Marilyn Monroe and a firm favourite from the Gallery’s acclaimed Pop Art collection. The pioneering artist Pauline Boty was one of the founders of the British Pop Art movement and the only female painter within the British branch of the movement. Her work often featured individuals she admired and celebrated her self-assured femininity and female sexuality.
Her later paintings introduced more political themes and criticised the ‘man’s world’ in which she lived. Her art, together with her free-spirited lifestyle, has made her a herald of 1970s feminism.
Pop Parade is free to visit and is situated on the ground floor of the gallery.” [courtesy Wolverhampton Art Gallery Facebook page]
Marlborough will be showing Pauline Boty’s 1963 work Cuba Si at Frieze Masters 2022 in London from October 12–16.
The work is among a collection “celebrating the 1950s and 60s, one of the most prolific periods in the history of British art. Conceptualised in collaboration with writer and art critic Martin Gayford, whose 2018 publication Modernists and Mavericks provides a compelling account of the bustling London art scene from postwar Soho bohemia to the ‘Swinging 60s’, the presentation will highlight the plurality of artistic approaches at the time, with artists connected through personal relationships rather than distinct schools or manifestos.” [from the Marlborough Gallery London website].
Other artists exhibited by Marlborough at Frieze Masters will include Frank Auerbach, Gillian Ayres, Francis Bacon, Clive Barker, Frank Bowling, Reginald Butler, Patrick Caulfield, Maggi Hambling, Allen Jones, RB Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor Pasmore, Joe Tilson and Euan Uglow.
“The Story of Art Without Men Art” by Katy Hessel, a pioneering exploration of women artists from the past 500 years, is published by Hutchinson Heinemann and available now. The book includes a section entitled “Political Change and New Abstractions”, the Pop art chapter of which features Pauline Boty, Marisol, Evelyne Axell, Martha Rosler and others.
“In her new book, curator and art historian Katy Hessel challenges the canon as we know it and showcases the female and gender non-conformist artists who are so often excluded from the history books. Hessel shines a spotlight on the glittering paintings of Sofonisba Anguissola of the Renaissance, the radical work of Harriet Powers in the nineteenth-century US, the astonishing work of post-war artists in Latin America and the women artists defining art in the 2020s. From the Cornish coast to Manhattan, Nigeria to Japan, The Story of Art Without Men is the history of art as it’s never been told before.” [From Hutchinson Heinemann]
To coincide with publication of the book, The Story of Art as it’s Still Being Written, is an exhibition at Victoria Miro, London, featuring artists from its final chapter. The exhibition will run from 8 September – 1 October 2022. Further information is available here: [link]
Katy is also conducting a series of book talks to discuss the work – further information available here: [link]
“It’s a long way before the balance is truly redressed but this is a good start.”Tracey Emin
“I was not aware how hungry I was for this book until I dropped everything and ate it from cover to cover. I was not aware how angry I was that this book did not exist until it existed. It’s an urgently needed, un-put-downable, joyful, insightful, glorious, perspective-shifting revision of the Story of Art.”Es Devlin
“Women artists currently make up just 1% of the National Gallery collection in London. This same museum only staged their first major solo exhibition by a historic female artist, Artemisia Gentileschi, in 2020, while 2023 will mark the first time the Royal Academy of Arts has ever hosted a solo exhibition by a woman in their main space.” Marina Abramović
About the author Katy Hessel is an art historian, broadcaster and curator dedicated to celebrating women artists from all over the world. In 2015, Katy founded the Instagram account @thegreatwomenartists, which has grown to almost 300,000 followers, and hosts a podcast of the same name with over 1.5 million listens. Katy has lectured at Tate, National Gallery, Christie’s and University of Cambridge; presented films for the BBC and Royal Academy; and collaborated with Dior on a podcast series featuring interviews with Tracey Emin and Judy Chicago. She lives in London and sits on the Board of Trustees at Charleston, the former home of the Bloomsbury Group.
Publisher: Hutchinson Heinemann Format: Hardback [Ebook and Audio Download also available] ISBN 9781529151145 Dimensions: 241mm x 32mm x 162mm Pages: 520 Price: £30.00
“Revisiting Modern British Art”, edited by Jo Baring, accompanies exhibitions at The Higgins, Bedford (15th October 2022 – 16th April 2023) and The Lightbox (15th October 2022 – 8th January 2023) and is published by Lund Humphries on 10th October.
The book includes contributions by Harriet Baker, Elena Crippa, Aindrea Emelife, Laura Freeman, Alexandra Harris, Simon Martin, Hammad Nasar, James Purdon, James Rawlin, Natalie Rudd, James Russell and Laura Smith and alongside Boty features the work of artists including Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, Eileen Agar, Ithell Colquhoun, Vanessa Bell, Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth, Margaret Mellis, Richard Hamilton and Kim Lim.
From the Lund Humphries website: “As the twenty-first century unfolds, notions of our cultural past and how our history has influenced our present shift almost daily. Within this, accepted artistic trajectories are being questioned and new connections made.
In this wide-ranging and thought-provoking publication, experts in their field address specific aspects of British art of the twentieth century. Presenting new perspectives on established narratives, subjects range from British Surrealism and the rise of corporate and private patronage, to nationality and British identity. Complemented by a range of striking images, this publication succeeds in showing the strength of the British artistic tradition while also encouraging the reader to rethink and explore the existing narrative.”
Jo Baring is a former Director of Christie’s and is currently Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British and Contemporary Art. Jo is also the co-presenter and co-writer of the podcast, Sculpting Lives.
Publisher: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd Format: Hardback ISBN 9781848225619 Dimensions: 260 x 210 mm Pages: 176 Illustrations: 100 colour and 10 b&w Price: £39.99
By pure serendipity I recently came across Christopher Skelton-Davies and his remarkable Country House Obsession Instagram account @country_house_obsession
Christopher had commented in a recent post “I also have the useless skill of being able to identify a house by only seeing a very small part, like a window, which my family and friends regularly test me on whilst watching TV. A lot of people contact me with their personal connections and stories with some of the houses I visit and I love to hear those stories so please DM and share” and I wondered if paulineboty.org might avail itself of his expertise to try and ascertain whether the buildings and landscapes Boty painted in It’s a Man’s World I and II were real or conjured up from her imagination?
Sure enough Christopher promptly replied that firstly the building at the top of It’s a Man’s World I is based on the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi [one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy] in Northern Italy and that secondly the landscape at the bottom of It’s a Man’s World II shows the Pantheon at Stourhead in Wiltshire.
Please see below for images of Boty’s paintings followed by those of the locations.
For further information on Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi please see here [link] and for visiting info here [link] [in Italian]
Further information on the individuals identified in the painting, including Marcel Proust, Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni is available here [link]
For further information about Stourhead please see here [link] and for visiting info from the National Trust here [link]
“Colours of Art: The Story of Art in 80 Palettes” by Chloë Ashby examines, in chronological order, 80 artworks and their palettes.
From the Quarto website: “Colour allows artists to express their individuality, evoke certain moods and portray positive or negative subliminal messages. And throughout history the greatest of artists have experimented with new pigments and new technologies to lead movements and deliver masterpieces. As something so cardinal, we sometimes forget how poignant colour palettes can be, and how much they can tell us.
Structured chronologically, ‘Colours of Art’ takes a fun, intelligent, visually engaging look at the greatest artistic palettes in history offering a refreshing and thoughtful primer for those who want to look at art through the ages from a different perspective. Spanning centuries and styles, from cave to contemporary art, Chloë Ashby invites you to navigate familiar and lesser-known works through a vibrant new lens.
‘When I was planning my chapters’ says Chloë, “some works came to me right away. Others, I discovered as I went along. This book isn’t definitive – how could it be, considering colour’s inexhaustible variety? Instead, it’s my attempt to capture and celebrate that variety on the page. Each artwork is accompanied by an infographic palette that’s intended to help you engage with the colours at play. My focus is on painting and colour is my jumping off point, but the art that does appear within these pages can be viewed through countless lenses.
The story of art reads differently depending on where and when you’re doing the reading – this is just one version, told in 80 palettes. You can read it chronologically from start to finish, or you can dip in and out. Wherever you land, you’ll find yourself immersed in colour – rich, vital, chameleonic. For these pieces, colour is not only a tool (like a paintbrush or a canvas) but the fundamental secret to their success.’”
Chloë Ashby is a writer and editor. She studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and has written about art and culture for numerous publications.
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Format: Hardback ISBN 9780711258044 Dimensions: 245 mm x 190 mm Pages: 256 Price: £25.00