06-Benjamin Creme (artist)

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Benjamin Creme: Landscapes 1940-1960 (1988)

This Edition

Benjamin Creme: Landscapes 1940-1960
Published1988 First editionYes
FormatSaddle-stitched booklet (210x210mm) Edition
PublisherEngland & Co Printing
ISBN Printed byThe Ranelagh Press
Series No of pages16


Catalogue published for the one-man exhibition Benjamin Creme: Landscape Paintings 1940-1960 at England & Co, London, from 20 October - 4 November 1988. With an introduction by Jane England and a review by fellow artist Robert Frame, with whom Benjamin Creme collaborated in illustrating W.S. Graham's Cage Without Grievance (1942).

After his first visit to the South of France, Creme was inspired by "the light and the colour and the totally abstract shapes which came out of that landscape". As a result he adopted a lighter palette than he used in his Scottish landscapes and moved closer to abstraction.
    In Scottish Painting -- 1837 to the Present William Hardie writes: "The sinewy uninhabited landscapes of Benjamin Creme, who had left Glasgow and the NSG [New Scottish Group] for London in 1946, ... add a certain Glasgow muscularity to English Neo-Romantic content." (Studio Vista, UK 1990, p.174)
    Robert Frame, however, in a brief characterization of Creme's work in this catalogue, says: "Creme himself would probably disclaim any Romantic affinities." (p.8) According to Frame, "What is most important and valuable is his opening-out of [the] Cubist world of the bourgeois interior into the far-reaching natural element of the landscapist -- not, however, the world of the globe-trotting painter, the Romantic English water-colourist." Rather, he says, "Each individual painting is an attempt to grapple with a unique visual experience; there is no routine stylistic repetition." And, "According to their painter, this pictorial group signifies within his entire oeuvre a quite conscious effort of will, an attempt to escape from the overwhelming influence of an older painter. They are therefore the paintings of a young man, but one who found himself." (p.7)

The exhibition featured 46 paintings, 17 of which were reproduced in this catalogue -- nine in full-colour and eight in b/w. The first page also features a b/w photograph of the artist.

The painting on the cover is 'Winter, South of France' (1950).


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