Sunday, 25 May 2008

Carel Weight (1907-1997)

Carel Weight was born in Paddington, London in 1908. As a child he was often sent to be taken care of by poor neighbours in the Chelsea area of London, returning to visit his parents on the weekend. This turbulent childhood lead to an acute awareness of the differences between affluence and poverty in London and informed most of his later works. His paintings tackle themes of human isolation and complex family relationships, a lot of them set in domestic interiors or gardens. Weight, a deeply sensitive man whith an exceptional imagination, took scenes from classical literature and the bible and reimagined them around London, often in his own back garden. He is best known today for these narratives of life in South London, interspersed with ghosts, family relations and figures from the Bible. In this slightly bizarre attention to his own surroundings and locality in London his work is very similar to Stanley Spencer.

He studied at Hammersmith School of Art, Paddington School of Art, and served as an official War Artist during the Second World War before teaching at the Royal College of Art in the 1950's. He was awarded a CBE in 1962 and an Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh University in 1982. He died in 1997.

"The Departing Angel" 1961. Oil on board.

"The Silence" 1965. Oil on Board.

"Anger" 1955

"The scene is set just outside Bishop's Park in Fulham and depicts a man attacking a woman with a chair. Weight was preoccupied with the themes of public and domestic outbursts of violence in suburban London. This work was not based on an actual scene but on what Weight imagined when he heard a female scream while wandering in the park at sunset."

"Portrait of the Artists Father" 1927

"Pre-raphaelite Tragedy" 1950


Eugene said...

Really liked this painters work displayed here..thank you.
I paint a little please see what it`s like to be a Weight "wannabe"
I enjoy the Englishness of this painters work-esp the light in his paintings.

Eugene said...

I`m transfixed by this wonderful work.