Published  17/08/2001

Peter Fuller: Image for Sale

Peter Fuller: image for sale
Phillips Salesroom, Edinburgh

Tragic story. Portrait of Peter Fuller by John Bellany

John Bellany’s portrait of the late critic and outstanding writer Peter Fuller (died 28 April 1990) is to be sold now at Phillips Salesroom in Edinburgh (+44 (0)131 225 2266) and is estimated to reach 6,000 to 8,000 at auction there on 24–25 August 2001. This relatively early Bellany captures the compelling image of the author and founder of the art magazine Modern Painters. We are reminded again of the awesome tragedy when Peter’s chauffeur driven car careered off the M4 near Reading, killing Fuller instantly and severely injuring Stephanie, while also killing their unborn child. Stephanie, a sculptor, commemorated this son soon afterwards in a work. Their son Lawrence survived the accident. Eventually Stephanie remarried John McDonald, the Australian art critic. As Waldemar Januszczac said at the time, ‘God, he will be missed’, commenting that the author of Images of God had now left the British art world without a centre. Peter’s ironic, sardonic, yet also his curiously innocent characteristic seemed to epitomise, yet did not support the message of the Thatcher years. He visited Czechoslovakia during those years, in May l987, to speak at an ‘unofficial’ philosophy seminar run by Petr Oslzy and Michin Pospisil, in total secrecy there. Peter was surprised however to find ‘official’ examples of what he had termed ‘Biennale International Club Class Art’ (BICCA) even in Prague. His reactions to the Tate Modern, the Saatchi Gallery, and other citadels of contemporary British art can only be now surmised at, but are surely deeply missed.

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