'John Minton: the Lost Man of British Art'

July 31 2018

Video: Pallant House Gallery

The actor Mark Gatiss has made a documentary about the 20th Century British artist John Minton, which will be on BBC4 on Monday August 13th on BBC4. AHN is very much looking forward to it. In The Times, Gatiss has written about why Minton's story and work mean so much to him:

Can you pinpoint a moment you fall in love? For me, it was an afternoon in the National Portrait Gallery when I was in my mid-teens. I saw a picture across a crowded room (if you want to go the full Rodgers and Hammerstein) — a self-portrait by an artist called John Minton, and that was it. I was drawn to his style; muted colours that seemed to scream of the Fifties, the dry brushwork suggesting the shirt collar, the melancholy expression and above all by the huge, dolorous eyes. It was sad and beautiful at the same time. And to a nascent gay boy looking for heroes, this was manna.

The video above shows Gatiss at an exhibition of Minton's work last year, at the Pallant House Gallery. It's good to see someone of Gatiss' fame championing an artist most of us haven't heard of. Someone I admire in the art world once said me; 'it's all very well discovering individual works by artists, but what's really impressive is to discover an actual artist'. It's something that happens rarely, and Vermeer is of course the greatest example. Minton has been almost entirely eclipsed by the brighter stars of his circle; Bacon, Freud, and so on. But maybe his time is about to come.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.