“Amazons of Pop!” exhibition in Kiel includes Pauline Boty’s “Colour Her Gone”

Installation shot 2021 © Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Photo: Helmut Kunde

From 2 October 2021 to 6 March 2022, “Amazons of Pop! Women artists, superheroines, icons 1961-1973” at Kunsthalle zu Kiel aims to address the diverse Pop art of a generation of women from Europe and North America who constitute the less-well-known side of the movement.

“Amazons of Pop! shows women who fight for their own emancipation with determination and actively champion political and social issues. They transgress boundaries in the art of their time, which was dominated by men, and test new and unusual materials such as plastic. Play with fictive characters, personalities and heroines from the big screen pervades the work of these artists, who demonstrate a great passion for experimentation, fantasy, intrepidness and a sense of strategy, conscious of the tense geopolitical and social circumstances of their time all the while. Amazons of Pop! features approximately 100 pieces from the fields of painting, installation, performance, sculpture and film and invites visitors to delve into the world of pop and a period of awakening: the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.” [from the Kunsthalle zu Kiel website]

The exhibition features: Evelyne Axell, Barbarella, Brigitte Bardot, Marion Baruch, Pauline Boty, Martine Canneel, Lourdes Castro, Judy Chicago, Chryssa, France Cristini, Christa Dichgans, Jane Fonda, Ruth Francken, Ángela García, Jann Haworth, Dorothy Iannone, Jodelle, Sister Corita Kent, Kiki Kogelnik, Kay Kurt, Nicola L., Ketty La Rocca, Milvia Maglione, Lucia Marcucci, Marie Menken, Marilyn Monroe, Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Yoko Ono, Ulrike Ottinger, Emma Peel, Pravda La Survireuse, Martha Rosler, Niki de Saint Phalle, Carolee Schneemann, Marjorie Strider, Sturtevant, Valentina Terechkova and May Wilson.

Organized by the MAMAC Nice in collaboration with Kunsthalle zu Kiel and Kunsthaus Graz, as well as support from Manifesto Expo.

Kunsthalle zu Kiel,
Christian-Albrechts-Universität,
Düsternbrooker Weg 1,
24105 Kiel,
Germany
Tel: +49 431 88057-56;
Link to exhibition website: [link]


“Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young” with chapter on Pauline Boty is out now

Pauline Boty illustration by Anna Higgie

“Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young” by Kate Bryan examines the lives and legacies of 30 great artists who died too young. Illustrations by Anna Higgie.

In the book’s concluding “Unfinished Stories” section a chapter entitled “Grand Dame of Pop art” is devoted to Pauline Boty, who is also referenced elsewhere throughout its pages.

From the Quarto Group website: “Some of the world’s greatest and most-loved artists died under the age of forty. But how did they turn relatively short careers into such long legacies? What drove them to create, against all the odds? And how can we use these stories to re-evaluate artists lost to the shadows, or whose legacies are not yet secured?
Most artists have decades to hone their craft, win over the critics and forge their reputation, but that’s not the case for the artists in this book. Art heavyweights Vincent van Gogh and Jean-Michel Basquiat have been mythologised by their early deaths, playing a key role in their posthumous fame. Others, such as Aubrey Beardsley and Noah Davis, were driven to create knowing their time was limited.
For some, premature death, compounded by gender and racial injustice, meant being left out of the history books – as was the case with Amrita Sher-Gil, Charlotte Salomon and Pauline Boty, now championed by Kate Bryan in this important re-appraisal. And, as Caravaggio and Vermeer’s stories show us, it can take centuries for forgotten artists to be given the recognition they truly deserve.
With each artist comes a unique and often surprising story about how lives full of talent and tragedy were turned into brilliant legacies that still influence and inspire us today. This is a celebration of talent so great it shines on.”

“Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young” by Kate Bryan

Publisher: Frances Lincoln 
Format: Hardback 
ISBN: 9780711251731
Dimensions: 138 mm x 216 mm
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 60
Price: £16.99 / $22.99

Can you help locate Boty’s great lost work, “Scandal ’63”?

Pauline Boty by Michael Ward, 13 January 1964, on display at the National Portrait Gallery in 2020. © Michael Ward Archives / National Portrait Gallery, London

Friday’s Daily Telegraph included a piece by Jake Kerridge about how writer Tom Glover is asking its readers for their help in tracking down Boty’s great lost work Scandal ’63 which has remained unseen at large since its creation and only survives currently courtesy of photographs taken by Michael Ward. The large painting’s focus is Christine Keeler astride a chair against a vivid red background in a variation of the iconic shot taken by Boty’s friend Lewis Morley. Across the top are four of the male protagonists of the Profumo Affair: Aloysius ‘Lucky’ Gordon, John Profumo, Stephen Ward and Johnny Edgecombe.

As the work was commissioned Glover deems it unlikely to have been burned, thrown away or lost at the time and through the correspondence of gallerist Mateusz Grabowski (who featured Boty in exhibitions in 1963 and again in 1965) has ascertained that the surname of the individual who commissioned the work is Wright, but other than that has reached a dead end with his search.

The work can also be seen here in portraits of Boty by Michael Ward [link] and in an earlier incarnation by Lewis Morley [link]

The Daily Telegraph article is here [paywall] [link]

Should anyone reading this have any further information that they might like to share please contact info@paulineboty.org

New page – Sources: “It’s a Man’s Word I” – identifies ancient Greek sculpture and source for the first time

Key for “It’s a Man’s World I”, 1964.

The key above showing the different individuals and objects assembled by Pauline Boty for one of her most important works, her 1964 painting “It’s a Man’s Word I”, has now been added to the site. Among the figures newly-identified are the 4th century BC Greek statue of Hermes and also Thelonius Monk as a likely contender for another of those represented.
As stated on the page, it is greatly hoped that in time the sources of all the items chosen by Boty to make up the work will be identified and the list on this page completed.
All comments, corrections, clarifications and suggestions on this item would be greatly appreciated, via the Contact form here: [link]
The new page can be accessed here: [link]

Pauline Boty features in a new poster on view at Van Gogh House London

“Join a Union (Boty/Boots)” by Madeleine Pledge on display at Van Gogh House London. Image courtesy of Van Gogh House London

Artist Madeleine Pledge has created a poster entitled “Join a Union (Boty/Boots)” featuring an image of Pauline Boty which will be on display at Van Gogh House London until 31st May. Unveiled on 1st May 2021 (International Workers’ Day), it forms part of “On the Western Window Pane”, a year long project presenting 12 artist designed, limited edition posters in its front, West facing window. The poster is also available to buy in separate yellow and pink colourways – more information available here: [link]

Join a Union (Boty / boots), 2021 by Madeleine Pledge, poster design by Ben Greehy. Image courtesy of Van Gogh House London

Madeleine Pledge describes the inspiration behind her work as follows:

“The image of the artist Pauline Boty hanging a painting at the headquarters of the Trades Union Congress has been on my mind and on the walls of my studio for the last year. I like Boty’s glamorous nonchalance (cigarette in hand, handbag on arm), and her striped suit against the striped canvas. Mostly, though, I like the image for the way it positions the (supposedly isolated, individualised) figure of the artist within this context of collective action and organised labour.

From within the atomising effects of the last year, ‘Join a Union’ felt like the best thing I could say within the space of an A2 page. Boty’s image sits alongside a couple of pairs of unfired clay boots, positioned together in my studio while thinking about the photograph. These things are gathered together within a format reconstituted from the layouts of fashion adverts from 2020 editions of Vogue.”

Van Gogh House London is located at 87 Hackford Rd, Vassal, London SW9 0RE and is available to visit on pre-booked tours. More information here: [link]

“The Hidden Mod in Modern Art” with chapter on Pauline Boty and Bridget Riley is published on 13th October

“The Hidden Mod in Modern Art: London, 1957-1969” by Thomas Crow.

“The Hidden Mod in Modern Art: London, 1957-1969” by Thomas Crow looks into the considerable influence of the Mod subculture on key figures of the 1960s British art scene. One of its six chapters is devoted in its entirety to Pauline Boty and Bridget Riley, including a fascinating account of the former’s association with John Schlesinger and his films Billy Liar and Darling. The book is published by the Paul Mellon Centre.

Pauline Boty, photographed by Lewis Morley, 1963. Bromide print, 29.3 x 35.6 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London

From the Yale University Press website: “Bonding over matters of taste and style, the ‘Mods’ of late 1950s London recognised in one another shared affinities for Italian-style suits, tidy haircuts, espresso bars, Vespa scooters and the latest American jazz.
In this groundbreaking book, leading art historian Thomas Crow argues that the figure of the Mod exerted an influence beyond its assumed social boundaries by exemplifying the postwar metropolis in all of its excitement and complexity. Crow examines the works of key figures in the London art scene of the 1960s, including Robyn Denny, David Hockney, Pauline Boty, Bridget Riley and Bruce McLean, who shared and heightened aspects of this new and youthful urbanity.
The triumphant arrival of the international counterculture forced both young Mods and established artists to reassess and regroup in novel, revealing formations. Understanding the London Mod brings with it a needed, up-to-date reckoning with the legacies of Situationism, Social Art History and Cultural Studies.”

Imprint: Paul Mellon Centre 
Distribution: Yale University Press
Format: Hardback 
ISBN: 9781913107130
Dimensions: 241 x 165mm
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 140 colour + b-w illustrations
Price: £25

Updated Collages section on the website with many titles added

“Blake, Boty, Porter, Reeve” list of works; AIA Gallery; 30 November – 29 December 1961

Much thanks are due to Geoffrey Reeve for sending in a copy of the list of works that include those shown by Pauline Boty in the group exhibition Blake, Boty, Porter, Reeve at the AIA Gallery in London in late 1961 which have now been added to the Collages listed here on the website. Many of these works, now sadly presumed lost, made an appearance in Ken Russell’s Pop Goes the Easel, originally broadcast by the BBC as part of the Monitor series of arts programme on 25th March 1962. Ultimately it is hoped further research will enable at least some of the lost collages shown in the film to be matched to their titles.

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

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]