Art - Frank Brangwyn

Gorringe's are marking the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the artist Frank Brangwyn with an exhibition of his work. Brangwyn, one of the most influential yet unsung artists of his generation, lived in The Jointure Cottage in Ditchling from 1918 to his death in 1956. Having completed an apprenticeship with William Morris, Brangwyn decided to become an artist, taught himself to paint, and was almost immediately rewarded: aged 17, one of his canvases was accepted in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. His style moved from a grey period (his limited palette was probably due to a lack of funds) to a much more exuberant colourful period after he spent time working on a freighter for passage in the Black Sea in 1888. By the age of 30, while the stuffy British establishment wondered how to pigeonhole the young artist, he became revered on the Continent and across the Atlantic, and broadened his artistic scope. He became the designer of the radical magazine The Graphic, and painted murals in the Art Nouveau gallery in Paris, giving the fin-de-siecle artistic movement its name.

Brangwyn was an innovator and experimenter whose reputation suffered as a result of the eclectic nature of his art. He was a painter, muralist, illustrator, lithograph poster printer, etcher, watercolourist and woodcutter. He was also something of a recluse: in 1941, after a week’s trip to a property he owned in Chipping Camden, he returned to his beloved home in Ditchling. He didn’t leave the village again until his death 15 years later. AL

Nouveau riche: a wealth of Frank Brangwyn’s artwork on exhibition at Gorringe's
North Street, Lewes
When? 10am - 4pm (closed 1-2pm) until June 14th
How Much? Free to view
(t) 01273 472503
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