De Francia, Peter (4 of 20). National Life Stories Collection: Artists' Lives.

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  • Recording date

    2000-02-24, 2000-03-23, 2000-05-15, 2000-07-20, 2000-08-11, 2000-09-28, 2000-10-04, 2001-02-14

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home in London

  • Interviewees

    De Francia, Peter, 1921-2012 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Peter de Francia [PdeF] returns to talking about his time in Belgium which he found wonderful but challenging physically as it was so cold. He made close friendships at this time which he was not able to maintain. The teaching system at the art school seemed open and productive with no theoretical models for learning being offered. He expands on this and considers it to be a good way to run an art school for that time. He refers to the college having a very good school of architecture which was more modern than the art school. PdeF was introduced to contemporary art from French sources, meeting some of the leading artists. He describes feeling much more affinity with French than British contemporary artists who he saw as very reactionary. He continues talking about the disjunction between understanding early modernism between different generations, referring to his surprise with the hold the Pre-Raphaelites had on artists in Britain. This leads to a discussion on Herbert Read who PdeF knew much of through his friendship with Roland Penrose. The problem of curatorial categorisations enters the discussion with the Tate being cited as an example of this. This leads to a more general talk about galleries and artists including Permeke who he mentions as having been very influential on Joseph Herman.

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