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]
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.
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
The programme was clearly close to Pauline Boty’s heart – she was regularly chosen as a dancer in the audience with her friend and fellow Pop artist Derek Boshier. The first documentary includes footage of them dancing in 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]
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]
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]
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.
“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
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
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.
60 Years continues the Walk through British Art with work by women artists from the 1960s to the present day and includes Boty’s Portrait of Derek Marlowe with Unknown Ladies, recently acquired for Tate Britain.
“This new display is organised into three sections – Structures, Portraits, and Humour and Strangeness. Together the works represent key ideas in recent British art and celebrate its diversity. All works are by women artists.
Women artists have been under-represented in comparison to their male counterparts. This is an opportunity to question the historical bias, with selected pieces from Tate’s collection showing that the story of art can be told by women artists alone. Artists include Tracey Emin, Mona Hatoum, Rachel Whiteread and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
60 Years reflects Tate’s ongoing commitment to increasing representation of women artists across its galleries.