Artwork Title: Fishes

Fishes, 1937

Mark Gertler

In ‘Fishes’, Gertler depicts two stuffed fish displayed in a glass box. In turn, the box is balanced on a chair with various palettes, frames, and paintings stacked behind. Gertler painted a handful of versions of this idiosyncratic still life subject from the mid-1930s, alongside some pastel studies: a 1937 pastel corresponding to ‘Fishes’ was included in Gertler’s memorial exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1941 and a 1936 oil of the glass box covered with drapery was bequeathed by the Thomas Balston collection to Leeds Art Gallery in 1968. Towards the end of the 1930s, Gertler was treating the traditional still-life genre with a boldly modernist aesthetic. Writing in the catalogue for the 1982 Ben Urin exhibition of Mark Gertler’s early and late works, Richard Shone wrote, “Towards the end of his life, Gertler was even more invigorated by the new directions he foresaw. Why not reduce subject matter to an... (
Uploaded on Jun 27, 2017 by Suzan Hamer

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