Sargy Mann (1937-2015)
Studio with standard lamp
Signed, upper right
Inscribed with title to the reverse
Oil on board
48 x 60 inches
Provenance: Cadogan Contemporary
Exhibited: Sargy Mann and Graham Giles,
Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, 1991
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A truly beautiful work but also highly significant within Sargy's oeuvre. The painting dates to the late 1980s when Sargy and his family were living at 58 Lyndhurst Grove, SE15. Sadly by this time, Sargy's eyesight had greatly deteriorated to ‘“a very little, blurry, peripheral vision” in his left eye, (he was registered blind)....(he) found it a struggle to paint from direct observation and began to rely on short term memory and tape recordings. Working on a large scale, he taped canvas to the living room wall of the family home on Lyndhurst Grove, “rather as Bonnard had pinned primed canvas to his studio wall”’.
The space depicted had initially been a dark, depressing attic space but this was transformed by the addition of some French windows. The painting has an almost abstracted quality with the two light sources creating pools of cool, luminescent energy radiating throughout the picture space.
Peter Mann describes the paintings from Lyndhurst Grove as, ‘in some sense a precursor to the very late work, The little sitting room paintings, which were essentially all about a space in his house (this time in Suffolk) that he had redesigned in order to make a more beautiful, light filled space.... In the last years at Lyndhurst Grove he did exactly the same thing, but on a more modest scale. He added windows in important places in the house and then made paintings about the new experience of being in that light in that space’.
With many thanks to Peter Mann at the Sargy Mann Archive for his help in cataloguing this painting.
Sargy Mann was born in Hythe, Kent in 1937. He studied at the Camberwell School of Art and then returned to the school as a lecturer from 1969-1988. He held a number of other academic and curatorial positions including, co-curator of the "Bonnard at le Bosquest" exhibition at the Hayward Gallery (1994) and Visiting lecturer at the Prince's Drawing School (1999-2008). He exhibited extensively at the Royal Academy, Royal College of Art and the Mall Galleries.
Sargy was diagnosed with cataracts at the age of 36 and ultimately lost his sight but continued to paint and exhibit to astonishing effect for the last 25 years of his life.
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