10 October 2011

Cyril Mann Tribute Exhibition

A tribute exhibition marking the centenary of the birth of the British figurative painter Cyril Mann (1911-1980) is currently on at the Piano Nobile Gallery 5th October – 5th November. Included are his rarely seen historic pre- and post-war paintings of London and Paris.
The show traces Mann’s artistic development through six decades, from the 1920s when, aged 12, he was the youngest boy ever to win a scholarship to the Nottingham School of Art, until his death on January 7, 1980, aged 68.
Mann set out to capture London emerging from the ravages of war and returning to normality. Among his early London works is 'St Paul’s from Moor Lane', painted in 1948, the year of the previous London Olympics, which depicts the iconic cathedral dome surrounded by bombsites in a view now obscured by the Barbican development. It is interesting to compare the views in his paintings with what we see today.
Also never previously exhibited is 'Pont Neuf' which shows the famous Paris bridge in 1938 silhouetted against the sun. This tranquil scene shows no sign of the imminent German invasion and upheaval to come.
A graduate of the Royal Academy Schools (1934-1937), Mann never used a studio and lived most of his life in a council flat, refusing to join any art movement and rejecting the fashion for abstraction. Neglected in his lifetime, his work is now represented in major private and public collections, including the Guildhall Museum & Art Gallery and the William Morris Museum, Waltham Forest. The British Museum department of prints and drawings has five of his drawings.

1 comment:

Tom @ Tired of London said...

I went to the launch of this at Piano Nobile. He was very talented.