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"Dilys Finlay-Stephens: Blokes and Birds"
2007-03-01 until 2007-03-24
Rainbird Fine Art
UK United Kingdom
Dilys Finlay-Stephens’ portraits are inspired by her grandfather, the national American portrait painter Thomas Edgar Stephens. Celebrated for painting the entire Eisenhower cabinet, he later convinced Eisenhower himself to take up painting, and painted the last life portrait of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.
In contrast to such official and grand subjects of status, Dilys Finlay-Stephens has deliberately chosen to concentrate more in interpreting her subjects as products of their varied social and economic environments.
Walking into a room filled with these fascinating portraits of old London characters, one is struck by how vividly and often humorously she encapsulates the cynicism and pain that has been acquired with life experience, highlighting what exactly it must mean to be old and living in London.
Fundamental to all her work is the convincing way in which the artist paints texture and detail, particularly in her paintings of birds. Dilys Finlay-Stephens’ initial interest in birds came from an early age delving through her father’s books with lustrous illustrations by Lear and Demartini. Her paintings are strongly influenced by Edward Lear’s parrots. Striking giant songbirds, in homage to Lear and Gould, successfully explore questions of scale in the ordinary and everyday, the ‘common or garden’ and, as with her portraits, reveal the often overlooked, enticing the viewer to look more closely.
Oil on canvas
H: 70cm W: 60cm
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