In the interest of historical accuracy, may I, while I still can, correct one or two apparent minor inaccuracies in the text opposite my No. 74? I did not work in the Mall Studios nor I believe did Henry Moore at any time. I lived at No. 22 Parkhill Road and Moore had a studio nearly opposite. Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth (No. 7) Cecil Stephenson (No. 6) for the whole of the 30's. Herbert Read for part of the time. Havinden I can't say; he bought one of my paintings in 1936 and was then living at 20 Alvanley Gdns. NW6.
In justice to my mother I do not at all think she was responsible for the loss of my paintings. I doubt if she had charge of them. The trouble is I cannot remember what I did with my possessions when I went to Hull and later into the army. Of course, with the exception of the ones owned by myself and by the Tate, the half dozen or so paintings and drawings I made during 1937 to 1939 are owned by Sir Leslie and Lady Martin. It is only the earlier ones which were not bought that are of unknown whereabouts. However one has recently turned up so perhaps others will.
'Abstract and Concrete', London, 1936 (photographs by Arthur Jackson)
In 1937, the year that he started studying architecture at Hull, Jack ceased exhibiting regularly, although he considered that he produced some of his most successful paintings between then and 1940-41.
One of Arthur Jackson's 1937 paintings (non-uniquely entitled 'Painting, 1937') was bought by the Tate Gallery in 1965 and he contributed many of his photographs to the Tate archive.
To mark his eightieth birthday in 1991, his ninetieth in 2001 and again on his death in 2003 the Tate made a featured display of this painting.
This exhibition included the painted wood relief 'White and Grey' (3/1934) priced at £15,000. It is thought to be the only relief in Arthur Jackson's oeuvre (the catalogue notes said so and he did not take issue with the statement).
Jack's response follows, taken from a draft (literally on the back of an envelope) of a letter to Tom Tempest-Radford at Peter Nahum dated 26 September 1988.
The catalogue notes include the following, with Jack's response below:
The 1935 show (which turned out to be the final Seven and Five exhibition) featured a White Relief by Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth's 'Discs in echelon' (now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York), and Henry Moore's 'Four piece composition: reclining figure' (now belonging to the Tate Gallery, London).
The Seven and Five Society had been founded in 1920 by seven painters and five sculptors. Initially a figurative group, its 1934 exhibition was the first in England to feature solely abstract art. Arthur Jackson was elected a member in 1934. This exhibition included his painting 1/1934.
This was the first international exhibition of abstract art to be held in Britain. It toured provincial cities including Oxford, Liverpool and Cambridge before settling at Alex, Reid and Lefevre in London. It was intended to show British abstract artists in the context of the European movement and included alongside Kandinsky, Arp, Miro, Giacometti, Alexander Calder and Moholy-Nagy work from the community of artists living and working in Parkhill Road, Hampstead and the nearby Mall Studios: Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and J.C. Stephenson. Nicolete Gray described the exhibition as a 'concise representation of the contemporary practise of abstract painting, sculpture and construction through the work of sixteen important artists of many nationalities'.
This exhibition introduced the work of Piet Mondrian and Alexander Calder in London
The 1935 Seven and Five Society exhibition was important in the development of English abstract painting. Throughout the early thirties new trends were initiated in the development of abstract art: the formation of Herbert Read's 'Unit One' in 1933, Myfanwy Evans' review 'Axis' and the writings of Adrian Stokes, John Summerson and Paul Nash. Reviewing the 1935 exhibition J. M. Richards wrote, 'that we can now be said to possess a school of abstract artists.'
Nicholson was also working in Paris between 1932-36 with Jean Helion and his work was appearing in the journal of the Abstraction-Creation, Art non-Figuratif, then the most important modern art journal in Paris. Through the people he met in Paris, Nicholson settled in London with a group of artists, sculptors, designers and architects all living in Hampstead. 'A nest of gentle giants' * was how Herbert Read described this artistic community, comprising of (sic) the European exiles Walter Gropius, Marcel Brauer, Eric Mendelson, Moholy-Nagy, Naum Gabo, and Piet Mondrian who had a studio in Parkhill Road. Next to this was the Mall Studios in which worked Nicholson, Moore, Hepworth, Stephenson, Ashley Havinden, Herbert Read and Arthur Jackson.
Jackson, whose work Geoffrey Grigson wrote was 'an attempt at moving forward to fullness and complexity' joined the Hull School of Architecture in 1937 and in 1939 stopped painting altogether. He spent the war on active service in the Middle East. During his absence his father died and when Jackson returned home he found that most of his paintings had been dispersed and probably destroyed.
The artist's mother had been forced to move several times during the war after his father's death and hence the loss of the paintings.
* Herbert Read's actual phrase was 'a nest of gentle artists', the title of his article in Apollo, Vol 77 No 7 September 1962 which is reproduced in the Marlborough Gallery exhibition catalogue 'Art in Britain 1930-40 centred around Axis, Circle, Unit One' 1965.
Included painting 5/1934.
Included Arthur Jackson's painting 3/1934.
Included painting 9/1935.
Included painting 4/1934.
Included paintings 2/1934, 5/1934 and 6/1935.
Included paintings 1/1932, 5/1935 and 6/1935.
Included paintings 5/1934, 1/1935, 5/1935, 6/1935, 7/1935 and 9/1935.
Included painting 2/1934.
Included paintings 4/1934, 5/1935.
Included paintings 3/1935, 6/1935 (uncertain), 7/1935.
Arthur Jackson exhibited a number of oil paintings and photographed the exhibition.
Oxford, February - March 1936: Paintings 1/1935, 2/1935, 3/1935
Liverpool, April - May 1936: Paintings 1/1935, 3/1935
Wakefield: Paintings 1/1935, 3/1935, 7/1935
Newcastle: Painting 7/1935
Included painting 1/1936.
Included paintings 5/1934, 9/1935.
Included paintings 5/1934.
Included paintings 9/1935, 2/1937, 3/1937.
Following this exhibition, Painting 3/1937 was purchased by the Tate Gallery
Included painting 4/1934.
Included painting 5/1939.
Included paintings 3/1936, 4/1936, 2/1937.