Whitford Fine Art. £5.00
There seems some mystery as to why these works have not been shown before, but I suppose the simple answer is that it has been purposeful on my part. My pure POP period was very brief in comparison to the span of works until now. (March 2006).
Most prolific was the year 1962. Even at that time there was not a great interest in my works on paper, most focus being on the paintings, which I was selling in that year while I was still a student. A particular incident contributed to "storage ". That was a conversation with David Hockney at the Royal College of Art, after I had sold another painting (I think it was "I wonder What My Hero's think of the Space Race" sold to Phillip Grenville at the Lords Gallery?). I should have been in a good mood, but was worried that my paintings were disappearing and mentioned this to David. He replied 'You should always keep work back, save some' and of course went into more detail.
For some reason Grabowski at the Grabowski Gallery, was not interested in them and the only gallery I recall that did express an interest was the Arthur Jeffries Gallery, but they didn't buy anything. I think the only sale was to the Victoria and Albert Museum a predominately pencil drawing with gouache added. It was a similar image to the painting that is in the Tate Gallery Collection-"Identi- Kit Man" it should be in their collection. I have a slide of it and show it in my lecture as such. Not sure when they bought it, though, they should know. I think also the fact that immediately after the Royal College I went to India for a year on a scholarship and on my return produced work that was more Geo -Pop (shown at the Whitechapel Gallery's 1964 "New Generation" exhibition) contributed to less interest interest in the drawings * .
There was one person, who I nearly showed this body of work and that was Marco Livingstone. I' m not sure when, but my guess would either in 1976 or 1982 when he was preparing the exhibition "Selected Drawings 1960-1982" at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool. I had a large store cupboard on the floor above my apartment in Ladbroke Gardens, in Notting Hill, and on this occasion I actually started to bring the large folder with the colour 1962 works down the stairs to show him, but changed my mind. In this respect I am glad that happened. The only oil painting I have from 1962 is Swan (reproduced in Marco's book "Pop Art-A continuing History"). I was surprised recently when Marco told me that he didn't know that I still owned Swan. I had, as part of my divorce agreement, the agreement that I would not sell Swan, that it would be given to my daughter's Rosa and Lily. They are just about to start college - your interest and the need to finance their further education is the reason I decided to release them.
* The notion that artists had this one established signature style was very much the rule in the early sixties. Artists tended not to wander across styles and in the art world thought artist' s who did as "traitor " to " the school of ". An artist like Gerhard Richter later set a norm. Though, of course, Picasso for years was constantly manoeuvring changes. I have always used style as subject matter.