Susan Paine - Contemporary Pastel, The Man, The Cat And The Harlequin
DescriptionA striking contemporary pastel showing a man sitting with a harlequin puppet and a black cat stretching out in front on a red blanket. The drawing is unsigned and came in a portfolio acquired directly from the artist's family, from her studio. On wove.
In fine condition, slight surface dirtying to the pastel.
56 x 41.1cm (22" x 16.2")Sheet: 58.8 x 43.7cm (23.1" x 17.2")
Sulis Fine Art is proud to present this varied and emotive collection of works by the artist Susan Paine. This collection is full of many different types of media, including oils, collage, pastel and prints. The artworks have been acquired directly from the artist studio through the artist's family, giving the artworks the best possible provenance.
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Susan Emily Challoner was born in Manchester in 1928. In 1951 she married Cyril John Paine. By the 1960s John and Susan had become one of the ‘It Couples’ of bohemian Soho; beautiful, exciting, and unconventional.
They moved in artistic, musical and drinking circles and had huge parties in their Paddington flat until well into their eighties, with live jazz and a cadre of fellow Bohemians – actors, musicians and artists. John frequented the French Pub in Soho and the Colony Room, an out of hours Soho drinking club, where he propped up the bar with iconic artists including Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Other close friends included Susan’s best friend Jean Muir, the fashion designer, and the Indian painter FN Souza.
Susan often worked by creating a collage and developing it into different versions, experimenting with different secondary media. Susan tended to build up planes of colour, often over painting previous versions before eventually arriving at a harmonious whole. Recurring themes include dancing, sexual power games, tree huggers and the Thalidomide tragedy. Favourite characters include Antony and Cleopatra, Achilles, Madame Butterfly, Carmen and Emma Bovary. Susan’s choice of couples and particularly women, reflect her interest in power imbalances and victimhood. Some of her larger more complex works seem autobiographical, sometimes reflecting her progression from one state to another. Susan sometimes used dance as a visual portrayal of sexual energy throughout history, and her work includes depictions of dance from many cultures – Spanish flamenco, Indian and Russian folk dancing, Japanese ritual dancing, resulting from her long-standing interest in representing kinetic energy.
In later life Susan obtained the formal education she felt she had missed, attending several art courses including a two-year course at the City Lit from which she graduated with a group exhibition in 2000. More impressive still, Susan enrolled at the Open University, and in 2002, aged 74, proudly graduated with a degree in History of Art. Susan’s last solo exhibition was at the Book Club in Soho in 2013, and included Dancing Lessons, one of several paintings exhibited at RA Summer Exhibitions.
John died in February 2018. By then Susan had sadly become almost totally blind, and she was suffering from advanced Alzheimer's. After John’s death she could no longer manage in the flat, so reluctantly agreed to be moved to a Care Home in north London. Eight of her favourite pictures – including Dancing Lessons – are in her room there.
|Dimensions||56 x 41.1cm|
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