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Monday, March 10, 2014

Three cheers for Mr Drysdale

– To Sotheby’s in Queen Street for an exhibition of about a hundred Russell Drysdale paintings, all from private collections – so no chance, probably, of ever seeing them again (or indeed before). What a simply wonderful painter, from the early ‘40s right up until his death – all maybe on the same note or in the same octave, but with a marvellous feeling for character in the many portraits, and a complete apprehension of the hot wastes of the bleak, remote outback, with its little tattered farms and pubs. A special sympathy, we thought, for children and adolescents – a splendid picture of a boy, perhaps about ten or twelve, dressed in his rather well-used best, ‘going to town’ – and an extraordinary picture of a young girl with a clearly terrified young boy by the hand. And, just inside the door, a really chirpy boy of about fifteen, ready for school and clearly bright as paint. Lovely exhibition, and great for Sotheby’s to have put it together.

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