“Patrick George – A Likeness” – DVD review
Patrick George once stated:
‘I try to paint a likeness of what I see…In London I paint pictures of people, of things lying around my room and the view out of the window. In the country I go outside and paint the landscape…The pictures take a long time to paint, sometimes several years.’
Patrick George – A Likeness, is an aptly titled, marvelous new documentary by Hero Johnson and Andrew Warrington, who recently offered me an preview to review. The DVD is available from the filmmakers website patrickgeorgefilm.com.
A year in the making, this film brings us closer to the life and work of a hugely important British painter on the eve of his 90th birthday. The filmmaker follows Patrick George around his sprawling farm, the site of much of his paintings. We watch over his shoulder while he paints and talks about working from nature and what he finds most important.
Mr. George is a man who is normally very reticent and avoids the public eye. However this film has Mr. George generously welcoming us into his home where he trades stories with his partner, the painter Susan Engledow about his time with the Slade school and friendships with Lucien Freud and Euan Uglow as well as his study with William Coldstream. When the movie was finished I felt invigorated from the unpretentious discussions about his practice and rigors involved in getting an honest likeness. The delights of working from the motif are palpable and infectious.
Neil Plotkin, who interviewed Patrick George for Painting Perceptions in 2010, had this to say about this film:
The film is a delight as it gives us an opportunity to see and hear from a superb and unfortunately under-appreciated English painter. Seeing Mr. George’s paintings in this video is a great joy as it is so hard to find images of his sensitive work. Getting to “know” the man behind the work also brings another much desired aspect to his work. It is refreshing to hear Mr. George’s earthy approach to art and art making and thinking about his own past. He speaks to us in a way that removes the veil of artificial art-speak. This makes his honest and straightforward work seem even more meaningful. His discussion about his relationships to other artists is intriguing as it helps clarify his role in post-war British painting. I am most grateful to all the people involved in this film as it fills out our knowledge of such an important painter.
Art Critic Andrew Lambirth states:
…a slow painter who has exhibited fewer than a dozen times since his first one-man show in 1975. But there are signs that his work is beginning to receive the attention it has long deserved: a film is being made about him, a monograph is planned, and last year he was a featured artist at the Royal Academy, at the invitation of the veteran abstractionist Tess Jaray. There is a general feeling that George has reached new heights in old age, that his precise, serene English landscapes have a greater potency than ever, and that the exquisite gentleness of his touch has even more poetry of evocation.
—- from Andrew Lambirth Painting begins at 90 – celebration of Jeffrey Camp, Anthony Eyton and Patrick George in the May 18 2013 issue of The Spectator.
Here is a fantastic ebook catalog of Patrick George’s paintings. This ebook and others can be viewed and ordered from the Browse & Darby who represent Patrick George.
Patrick George born in 1923, is British painter and teacher, born in Manchester. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, 1941–2, and Camberwell School of Art, London, 1946–9. From 1974 he taught at the Slade School, and he was Slade professor from 1985 to 1987. His paintings are mainly landscapes, interiors, and portraits.
The DVD is in PAL format (which plays on European TV sets but not US TV’s however it will play ok on the computer (google playing PAL format dvd on computer for more info). The filmmakers eventually plan on releasing a USA – NTSC version if there’s enough interest. To order the DVD go to this link.