FREDERICK JOHN PYM GORE CBE RA (1913 – 2009)

The Pink Fields, Les Baux

Signed lower right, and titled on Redfern Gallery label verso Titled “no.13 the Path to Mausanne” on stretcher

Oil on canvas

50 x 75 cm (19.6 x 29.5 ins)

Provenance: The Redfern Gallery County Hall, Leicestershire County Council Artworks collection

Frederick Gore was born on 8 November 1913. His Father, Spencer Frederick Gore, a painter and President of the Campden Town Group, died unexpectedly some months later in 1914. His Mother Mary Joanna (Molly) Kerr was a dancer from Edinburgh.

He studied Philosophy at Trinity College, Oxford but could be found more frequently at the Ruskin School of Art, studying painting and drawing. He trained at the Slade under Henry Tonks and Westminster School of Art with Mark Gertler and Polunin from whom he learnt the painting of back drops for the theatre which proved useful when he joined the Balalaika Dance Group.

Prior to World War Two, courtesy of a Greek patron, he travelled and painted in Greece for a year. Subsequently his career became more established and Gore was to make his first visit to France around 1937-1938 which culminated in an exhibition at the Gallery Borghese in Paris in 1938. He was at that time, labelled as “The English Fauve” by the famous art critic, Louis Vauxcelles, who had created the term in 1905 after visiting the Salon d’Automne exhibition and encountered the bold canvases of of Andre Derain and Henri Matisse who had spent the Summer painting together in Collioure in the south of France. Other artists exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne that year, were Maurice de Vlaminck, and Kees van Dongen, amongst others, who were also associated with the Fauves movement. Les Fauves (French for wild beasts) was a style of wild brush strokes and strident colours with subject matter simplified and abstract. Although this work, by Frederick Gore, is not dated, it appears on stylistic grounds and subject matter to be from this first visit in France, when he frequently painted in the area of Les Baux and Mausanne.

Post-war, Gore taught from 1946 at St Martins School of Art. He was Head of Painting from 1951 -1979 and was appointed Vice President in 1961 until he retired from the post in 1979. He was a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum 1967 – 1984 and Chairman of its Artistic Records Committee 1972-1986. In 1972 Gore was elected as a Royal Academician and from 1976-1987 he was Chairman of the Royal Academy Exhibitions Committee.

In the 1950’a he spent most of his Summers painting en plein air on the Greek islands of Paros and Aegina. In the 1960’s he went to Majorca and Provence and during this time painted many vibrant landscapes with far reaching fields in the dappled light, often with olive trees and vineyards. This painting of The Pink Field is painted in true Fauve style, with bold colour and brush strokes and perfectly illustrates the soft light and landscape for which this region is renowned.

In 1980 Gore went to the US and was so taken with it that he returned on an annual basis thereafter.

He exhibited at the Juster Gallery in New York, the Redfern Gallery, London, (where this painting was exhibited) and also the Richmond Hill Gallery where his last solo exhibition was held in 2009. He died in the same year at the age of 95.