St Leonards exhibition focuses on David Tindle

The Baker Mamonova Gallery, Kino-Teatr, 43-39 Norman Road, St Leonards on Sea is offering a retrospective exhibition of one of the “most important British artists of modernist era”, David Tindle. The exhibition runs until Sunday, January 28.
David Tindle - Photo by Baker Mamonova GalleryDavid Tindle - Photo by Baker Mamonova Gallery
David Tindle - Photo by Baker Mamonova Gallery

Born in 1932 in Huddersfield, David was educated at Coventry School of Art and was elected a Royal Academician in 1979. His works are held at the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, Royal Academy of Arts, Ulster Museum (Belfast), Towner Gallery (Eastbourne), Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool), The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archeology (Oxford) and other collections. He belonged to same artistic milieu as Keith Vaughan, John Minton, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. After leaving London, he lived in Hastings for many years before retiring in Italy.

Curator Russell Baker said: “After moving with his family to Coventry at the very young age of 14 with a poor education, the exception being art, David found work in a commercial art studio and later as an assistant in a set design studio. His talent for drawing soon impressed theatrical scene painter Edward Delaney who offered him a job in London. It was in London that David met and became friends with many of the up and coming artists of the day such as John Minton, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Keith Vaughan. Lucian Freud often visited David at his nearby studio and I believe David’s early realist work was greatly influenced by Lucian’s quirky realism. It wasn’t long after before all eyes looked towards Francis Bacon and we see various attempts being made by other artists of the day to shape shift the paint into a new figurative language. Most failed and the stress of keeping up was too much for some the artists at this time. David was also one of those that looked at Bacon’s art for a short spell in the early 60s when he was showing with the Piccadilly Gallery before soon going back to his quiet realism.

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“In 1958 he represented Great Britain at the International Biennale of Realist Art at Bruges. He also exhibited at the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1959 and 1961. It was in 1961 his picture was bought by John Moores for the Walker Art Gallery. This early success didn’t stop the huge influence that Francis Bacon had on all these artists which I believe stayed with them throughout their careers. There is no doubt that Tindle also admired John Minton’s work and Minton’s early death from suicide had a sad lasting effect on David. The last time I visited David in Italy we visited his favourite working man’s restaurant in Lucca and shared a local bottle of wine with a simple seafood pasta. David likes to tell the stories from his early days in London and he has many. Having known about David Tindle’s work for many years it was lovely to finally meet up with him in 2009 in St Leonards on Sea. David was slowly walking from his flat in West Hill Road past our gallery, Baker Mamonova Gallery in Norman Road. He was looking in the window and I invited him in and as two Northerners we immediately hit it off. I soon invited him to show a small portrait in one of our exhibitions and now I’m delighted that we’ve put together such an ambitious, important show at the heart of St Leonards.”

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