Art & photography

Reid, Sir Norman (10 of 13). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives.

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  • Recording date

    2000-02-03, 2000-04-12, 2000-12-20, 2005-03-29, 2005-05-06

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home.

  • Interviewees

    Reid, Sir Norman, 1915-, (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 10. Sir Norman Reid’s [NR] impressions of Naum Gabo; Tate Gabo exhibition shortly after NR became director; Gabo’s space demands, NR’s sympathy. NR recounts process of helping Gabo prepare work at Tate and in Gabo’s workshop in Connecticut; Gabo’s superstitions; few instructions about displaying Gabo’s work after his death; brief description Gabo’s workshop. NR’s skill as craftsman; his restoration of Gabo piece for Margaret Gardiner; public interest in Gabo’s printmaking. Ben Nicholson’s [BN] last show for Leslie Waddington; BN’s decline contrasted with that of Gabo, Mark Rothko; NR’s impressions of Rothko’s late paintings. NR’s reluctance to intrude on artists unless business involved; exception Ad Reinhardt, NR’s interest in his technique; Reinhardt offers painting to Tate as gift, dies before transfer of painting; work now in the Metropolitan in New York; John Rothenstein’s advice to NR – “if someone offers you a gift, take it and run”; aside about NR’s relationship to K. Clarke. NR as Gabo’s trustee; account of Gabo’s personality and life, his move to England thanks to Winifred Nicholson; Gabo’s St Ives set, their friendships and rivalries, contrasted with relationship of Picasso and Braque; friction between Gabo, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth in particular. NR’s influence with this set, respected as a painter himself; BN’s problem with Alan Bowness [AB] – AB a “pure” writer, not an artist. Andrew Forge as Tate trustee.

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Reid, Sir Norman (10 of 13). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives.

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