It is fair to say that the painter Graham Sutherland is not being
served well by the national galleries in commemoration of the centenary
of his birth. In April, Tate Britain will offer one room of works
from its own collection. Independent curator Angus Stewart is doing
his best to remedy the deficit with a substantial exhibition held
at the spring antiques fair at Olympia. This exhibition will include
a small preparatory painting of Sir Winston Churchill, much favoured
by his descendants and saved from the famous bonfire that consumed
the principal work. How can such a great painter be overlooked,
by Tate Britain itself? One room is not enough.
Pipped at the post at the National Museums and Galleries of Wales by Ceri Richards (more Welsh of course) in 2002, Sutherland is not short of protagonists. Today, his landscapes are recognised as well ahead of their time, and attune with the current wide interest in the survival of landscape under threat. But there is hope that the plan to create a Sutherland Centre at St David's in Wales, with a 6 million appeal budget, will eventually be fulfilled.