Sunday, September 20, 2015

Brian Sewell (1931 – 2015) - he will be missed

Where does one start - except to say he will be missed.

Brian Sewell at the Mall Galleries in 2012
I've regularly highlighted Brian Sewell on this blog and I've got his signature on his biography.

I've even drawn him despite also having a video of him being painted by three different people to constant comments from Brian! (see below for an excerpt on YouTube - which reminds us of that wonderful plummy voice!)

I, for one, shall really miss his wonderfully acerbic critiques when he said the words others were thinking.

Many is the time I've ridden home on the tube enjoying Brian's latest contribution to the arts in my copy of the Evening Standard.

I think the Evening Standard have got it right with their headline - he was a real legend!

He could very definitely be self-important and terribly OTT at times but he did help to get people reading about art and more importantly really looking at it.

Brian Sewell Obituaries

Brian Sewell - The Outsiderat a book launch/signing at the Mall Galleries
Here are some of the obituaries about his death and appreciations of his life. Interestingly Sewell titled his biography "The Outsider"
He called Emin “trivial”, Hirst “f*cking dreadful”, David Hockney “a vulgar prankster” and once claimed graffiti artist Banksy “should have been put down at birth”. (That's my * - no expletives on this blog!)

Brian Sewell on Video



Here's a video of him sitting for his portrait....



Here's the ING Discerning Eye interview with Brian Sewell - he was a selector twice in 1990 and 2011.

Brian Sewell on Art


ING Discerning Eye 2011: One of the walls in Brian Sewell's section of the show
These are some of my blog posts which have featured Brian
At last we got to see what sort of art Brian would choose if left to his own devices in a room full of art!
Here's an extract from one of my posts reflecting on his critiques 
By way of balance - Brian Sewell, art critic of the Evening Standard is renowned for being waspish generally and acerbic about the Tate Modern and conceptual art. He was a judge of the Portrait Prize in 2005 - but has been less than complimentary about it ever since. These are his very barbed comments on:
  • BP Portrait Award 2008 Portrait Award is a Mug's Game - Personally I'd prefer to read rather more analysis and rather less mud-slinging! His points are often sound but for me are spoilt by the rhetoric - I'm often left with the impact of the rhetoric rather than memory of the points being made.
  • BP Portrait Award in 2007 How ugly can the faces get? - I do think he has a very sound point about the risks associated with a sponsor having a representative on the the judging panel. This should be a portrait competition - not a marketing exercise. However, I'm in two minds. He says the sponsor expresses concerns during the judging process about how pictures chosen reflect on the sponsor - and, to my mind, this really should not be a consideration - sponsorship of the arts should be freely given without fear nor favour
 (I'll probably add to this section and/or revise as right now I need to go and pick up some artwork from an exhibition!)

1 comment:

Paulina Little said...

I agree with what you say about Brian Sewell. He amused me no end and I often agreed with his comments, but not his view that women artists are not as admirable as male artists. I wrote to him several times c/o the Evening Standard, and always got a most interesting, hand-written reply. They don't make them like that anymore!

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