Posted by: outsiderart1 | March 24, 2011

Current Exhibitions in England…



This group exhibition explores A Life in Art of Monika Kinley: who all her working life has been involved with the arts. Monika Kinley is a significant figure in the art world who supported and helped the careers of many exceptional artists. Monika Kinley now lives in Plymouth and is still engaged with the art world.

Monika Kinley grew up in Berlin and Vienna; after attending school and college in England, she worked at the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain) in the 1950s, where the works, exhibitions, and contacts with artists, critics and writers laid the foundations for her continuing activities in the art world.

In the 1960s short periods with commercial galleries led to her decision to try to find artists whose work she admired, and subsequently exhibited in her flat in Hammersmith, London. She showed many artists such as Prunella Clough, Paula Rego, and Frank Auerbach. She wanted to have the chance to get to know the artists themselves. The intimacy of the flat led to interesting conversations, which would lead not only to the sale of, but continuing interest in their work. Many are now admired and well known and have remained her friends.

This exhibition shows a selection of works on loan from public collections, galleries and other institutions; and from some artists themselves. It is a sensitive insight into what Monika Kinley admires, both past and present.

Since 1984 she continued the work of her partner, Victor Musgrave, who initiated the Outsider exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London in 1979, with co-curator Roger Cardinal. Musgrave died tragically young in 1984 and Monika Kinley continued to discover and collect the works of Outsider Artists: these artists were motivated by their own visions. Last year the Musgrave Kinley Collection was gifted by the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Trust, to the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. A small collection of Outsider works will be shown as part of the exhibition at the Plymouth Arts Centre.


Hidden away for years, 500 canvases by a self-taught artist and his pupils have emerged on the market.


A chance discovery at a house clearance sale in the country has uncovered a trove of highly decorative paintings by a hitherto unknown artist and the children he taught half a century ago.

Robert Young, who is a well known figure in the antiques world, specialising in country furniture and folk art, was viewing the auction at Beccles in Suffolk to look for furniture when he spied two very large folders on the floor beneath a table. The folders were dusty and unremarkable, but when he opened them, he saw several beautifully designed portfolios containing stacks of drawings and paintings – about 500 of them – all carefully presented and neatly tied with string.

There was no clue as to the identity of the artist or artists who made them in the catalogue, but the quality of the work was such, he says, that “I knew straight away they were for us.” Young’s eye is tutored to look at the works of unknown, self-taught artists of the past – the “primitive”, “naïve” or “outsider” artists of the 18th and 19th centuries. What he saw in Beccles was more modern, but perfectly compatible with the fine rustic aesthetic with which he is associated.

As he leafed through the portfolios he found meticulously crafted paintings of still lifes, landscapes, harbour and industrial street scenes, some in the style of recognised 20th century masters – Ben Nicholson, Alfred Wallis, William Scott or John Piper. Though unsigned and embracing a variety of styles, all had the textural assuredness, colour sensitivity and compositional balance to be indisputably by the same hand. Others were clearly by children, lovingly preserved and occasionally inscribed – “Norah Scragg 2A”, for instance, or “Jennifer Borrington 2B”


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