“The Story Of Art Without Men” by Katy Hessel, including a section on Boty, is out now

“The Story of Art Without Men” by Katy Hessel, published by Hutchinson Heinemann

“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]

A spread from the book with left “The Only Blonde in the World”, 1963, and right “It’s a Man’s World I”, 1964, by Pauline Boty

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

A spread from the book showing part of its Timeline

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”, including Boty’s “It’s a Man’s World II”, is published on 10th October

“Revisiting Modern British Art” edited by Jo Baring, published by Lund Humphries

“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.”

A spread from the book with left “Cover Girl” by Frank Bowling, 1963–4 and right “It’s a Man’s World II” by Pauline Boty, 1964–5

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

Locations in Wiltshire and northern Italy identified in two of Boty’s major works

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.

Pauline Boty, It’s a Man’s World I, 1964
Façade of the Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi. Photo by Paris Orlando via Wikimedia Commons

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]

Pauline Boty, It’s a Man’s World II, 1964/5
The Palladian bridge and Pantheon at Stourhead. Photo by Hamburg103a via Wikimedia Commons

For further information about Stourhead please see here [link] and for visiting info from the National Trust here [link]

Many thanks indeed to Christopher Skelton-Davies and @country_house_obsession

“Colours of Art”, including a discussion of Pauline Boty’s “Colour Her Gone”, is out soon

“Colours of Art: The Story of Art in 80 Palettes” by Chloë Ashby, published by Frances Lincoln

“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 book’s Contents page

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

Promotional video for new Boty documentary released

Mono Media Films and Channel X have announced that they are currently in the process of conducting interviews for a forthcoming documentary on the life and work of Boty.
They have previously produced programmes on, among others, Paul Weller, The Style Council and Peter Blake.
You can see the original promotional video for “Pauline Boty: I Am The 60s” on Vimeo here [link] and keep up to date here via:

Instagram [link]
Twitter [link]
FaceBook [link]

Rediscovered Canova masterpiece once situated outside Boty’s Kensington flat to be auctioned by Christie’s

Antonio Canova (1757-1822), Maddalena Giacente (Recumbent Magdalene), 1819-22. © Christie’s Images Ltd 2022

Antonio Canova’s Maddalena Giacente (Recumbent Magdalene), regarded as his lost masterpiece and completed shortly before his death, will be a star lot in the Old Masters Evening Sale on 7 July 2022 at Christie’s in London

At one stage the sculpture was located outside the front of the house in Addison Road owned by antique dealer Jon Manasseh which Boty shared with Celia Birtwell. Derek Boshier also rented a room as a studio there whilst Peter Blake stored his paintings. The sculpture even makes a brief appearance in Ken Russell’s 1962 documentary Pop Goes the Easel with an aerial shot of Blake seated on it whilst he, Boshier and Peter Phillips wait for Boty to respond to their ringing the bell to be let in.

Boty on the steps outside Addison Road [unknown photographer]

From the Christie’s website:

Having accidentally become an art world ‘sleeping beauty’ over the last 100 years – her authorship gradually forgotten and whereabouts unknown – this outstanding sculpture of Mary Magdalene in a state of ecstasy was commissioned by the Prime Minister of the day, Lord Liverpool (1812-1827). Recumbent Magdalene will be a star lot during Christie’s Summer edition of Classic Week in London.

Dr. Mario Guderzo, leading Canova scholar, former Director of the Museo Gypsotheca Antonio Canova and Museo Biblioteca Archivio di Bassano del Grappa commented: “It is a miracle that Antonio Canova’s exceptional, long lost masterpiece the Recumbent Magdalene has been found, 200 years after its completion. This work has been searched for by scholars for decades, so the discovery is of fundamental importance for the history of collecting and the history of art. It testifies to the intensive thought process of the work of the Italian sculptor who was a fundamental witness of his time: faithful to Pope Pius VII, sought after by Napoleon, beloved by the English sovereign George IV, esteemed by the world of European collecting and of critical importance for the restitution of works of art seized under Napoleon. The re-discovery of the Recumbent Magdalene brings to a conclusion a very particular story worthy of a novel, of a marble of significant historical value and great aesthetic beauty produced by Canova in the final years of his artistic activity.”

Details of work
Antonio Canova (Possagno 1757–1822 Venice)
Maddalena Giacente (Recumbent Magdalene), Marble, 1819–1822
75 x 176 x 84.5 cm (291⁄2 x 691⁄4 x 331⁄4 in.)
Estimate: GBP 5,000,000–8,000,000

Further information on the work and sale, including a short film with Christie’s European Sculpture specialist Donald Johnston and art critic Alastair Sooke on its remarkable rediscovery, is available here: [link]

Boty work sells for new record price in auction at Sotheby’s

WITH LOVE TO JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO [detail], oil on canvas, 1962

Yesterday evening in Sotheby’s British Art: The Jubilee Auction Pauline Boty’s 1962 painting With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo sold for GBP 1,159,500 [GBP 950,000 plus Buyer’s Premium; Estimate GBP 500,000 – 800,000] achieving a new record price for one of her works.

This was previously held by her 1966 painting Bum, which sold at Christie’s on 22 November 2017 for GBP 632,750 [including Buyer’s Premium] with an estimate of GBP 200,000 – 300,000.

For more on yesterday’s sale and an extensive Catalogue Note on the work by Sue Tate [scroll right to the foot of the page] please see here: [link]

“Pauline Boty, Pop Artist and Woman” event on Monday in Sotheby’s Jubilee Arts Festival

The Jubilee Arts Festival takes place from 28 May–15 June at Sotheby’s London and is described as follows: “Within the Jubilee Season, Sotheby’s will open its doors for an Arts Festival celebrating the alchemy of British creativity and stirring its spirit in the next generation. With exhibitions and events spanning the visual, performing, and literary, we will gather figures advancing and reinterpreting Britain’s treasured cultural legacy. Beyond unique opportunities to view artworks and jewellery loaned from some of the nation’s greatest private collections, we are partnering with RADA, Intelligence Squared and Fantasia Orchestra to deliver a programme of musical and dramatic performances, cultural and historical debates and talks with contemporary artists and creatives.”

On Monday 13 June at 1:00 pm in Pauline Boty, Pop Artist and Woman, Dr Sue Tate and Sotheby’s Frances Christie will discuss Boty’s life and work, including her important 1962 painting With Love to Jean Paul Belmondo which is due to be auctioned by Sotheby’s on 29th June [please see previous News item].

For further information on the festival please click here: [link]

Major work by Boty to be sold by Sotheby’s in Jubilee Auction

On 29th June “British Art: The Jubilee Auction” at Sotheby’s in London will include Pauline Boty’s 1962 painting With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo, with an estimated sale price of 500,000 – 800,000 GBP.

WITH LOVE TO JEAN-PAUL BELMONDO, oil on canvas, 1962

Sotheby’s describe the sale as follows: “In June 2022, the world’s attention will turn to London as we pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch in UK history, admired and respected globally for her 70 years of service. To mark this significant moment, we will hold a major live-streamed Evening auction dedicated to the best of British Art. The sale will incorporate artists such as Gainsborough, Constable and Millais working in the 18th and 19th centuries to icons of the 20th century such as Barbara Hepworth and L.S. Lowry, and into the 21st century with artists such as Bridget Riley and Banksy.”

With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo will also be included in an exhibition at Sotheby’s in London from 28th May–15th June and 22nd–29th June. In the intervening time it will be on display in New York with other key works.

More information on the sale is available here: [link]

On 13th June Dr Sue Tate and Sotheby’s Frances Christie will be in conversation as part of the Jubilee Arts Festival – a programme of musical and dramatic performances, cultural and historical debates and talks with contemporary artists and creatives. Further details to follow soon here.

With Love to Jean-Paul Belmondo by Pauline Boty
Oil on canvas
Signed BOTY, titled and dated 62 (on canvas overlap)
Property from a French Private Collection

Unframed: 152.5 by 122cm.; 60 by 48¼in.
Framed: 154 by 123.5cm.; 60½ by 48¾in.
Executed in 1962.

New landmark eight-part BBC series includes work by Boty

Art that Made Us is a landmark eight-part series for BBC Two co-produced by the BBC and The Open University. Through 1,500 years and eight dramatic turning points, the series presents an alternative history of the British Isles, told through art.

Leading British creatives, including Simon Armitage, Anthony Gormley, Lubaina Himid, Maxine Peake and Michael Sheen join cultural historians to explore key cultural works that define each age.

Boty is represented in the final episode of the series, Brilliant Isles which “explores how the generation of artists who recorded the shocks of global war gave way in the 1950s and 1960s to an explosion of new voices from across the British Isles, reinventing the arts and creating a richer, more diverse culture. Young artists rebelled against the old establishment, kicking against the confines of class, sex, nation and race. Actress Lesley Sharp performs passages from Shelagh Delaney’s breakthrough play A Taste of Honey which brought the ordinary lives and unheard voices of working class women to a mainstream audience, while Chila Kumari Singh Burman explores the career of pop artist Pauline Boty.” [from the BBC website]

For further information including synopses, clips, broadcasting times and dates and link to iPlayer please see the BBC Programme page here [link]