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Courtauld Autumn Exhibition Season Opens

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Image:- @helensaunders-hammock/

The Courtauld unveils three new exhibitions as part of its Autumn Exhibition season.

Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion, Fantasy, Fetishism -14 October 2022 – 8 January 2023

One of the most original and eccentric artists of the 18th century, Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) is the subject of a new exhibition at The Courtauld. Fuseli was a libertine and self-confessed genius working at the height of the Enlightenment period whose experimental and highly idiosyncratic work helped establish a reputation for controversy.
The artist’s obsession with the female figure is explored through fifty of his striking private drawings. Often featuring extraordinarily bizarre hairstyles, these studies show one of the finest Romantic-period draughtsmen at his most innovative and exciting. No other images like them were being made at this time. The exhibition features Fuseli’s captivating and complex drawings, which provide an insight into late 18th- and early 19th century anxieties about gender, identity, and sexuality during a transformative period in European history.

Further Information: Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion, Fantasy, Fetishism - The Courtauld  

Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel 14 October 2022 - 29 January 2023

Pioneering artist Helen Saunders (1885 – 1963), one of the first British artists to pursue Abstraction and one of only two women to join the Vorticists, the radical but short-lived art movement that emerged in London on the eve of the First World War. Saunders will be celebrated in a new monographic exhibition in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery, the first exhibition devoted to her work in over 25 years.
Due in part to Vorticism’s post-war fall from favour and to the minimising of her contributions, often by other male Vorticists, as well as the loss of almost all her paintings, Saunders fell into obscurity. Only in recent years has her work begun to be rediscovered as a vital piece in the story of British modern art. The exhibition showcases a remarkable group of 18 drawings and watercolours, which reveal Saunders’ gifts as a colourist and knack for complex literary allusion, capturing the dynamism of modern urban life and the horrors of mechanised warfare.

Further Information: Helen Saunders: Modernist Rebel - The Courtauld

A Modern Masterpiece Uncovered: Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saunders and Praxitella

14 October - 12 February 2023

A new display in the Project Space, explores a fascinating discovery made by two students in 2019 at The Courtauld, who found an important lost masterpiece by Helen Saunders hidden beneath a portrait Praxitella(1921),  by the modernist artist Wyndham Lewis. X-rays uncovered an abstract composition totally different from the style of Lewis’ portrait. The students identified the work underneath as a painting not by Lewis but by his friend and colleague Helen Saunders - a fellow member of the radical, short-lived British Vorticist group who was known to have fallen out with him. All of Saunders’ Vorticist paintings were thought to be lost before now. This new display will present Lewis’ Praxitella alongside the x-ray and partial colour reconstruction of Atlantic City, as well as a range of technical material to tell the story of this extraordinary discovery. It is hoped the rediscovery of this major work will spark greater interest in Saunders’ work and the work of other female painters, whose work has historically been overshadowed by their male contemporaries.

Further Information: A Modern Masterpiece Uncovered: Wyndham Lewis, Helen Saunders and Praxitella - The Courtauld