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Special Report

Graham Sutherland
(1903 – 1980)

Graham Sutherland
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
© Estate Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland
Limestone Quarry - shetering whilst blasting, 1943
© Estate Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland
Bird over Sand, 1975
© Estate Graham Sutherland

Graham Sutherland
Thorns, 1945
© Estate Graham Sutherland


CARDIFF.- Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) was one of the most important British artists of his day, championed by his peers who included Francis Bacon. He was an impressively prolific and versatile artist who is perhaps best remembered for his imposing landscapes and intuitive portraits. 

To mark his centenary the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff presents a display of his work (11 October – 14 December) that reasserts his importance as a leading figure in twentieth century British art.  

This exhibition is drawn from the National Museums & Galleries of Wales’ collections which were previously housed at the Graham Sutherland Gallery, Picton Castle. Exploring different themes from Sutherland’s work - portraits, landscape, design, war, animals and organic forms - the display offers an opportunity to observe one artist’s obsession and imagination. In addition to finished paintings, also on display here are lithographs, photographs, objects he collected and studies for completed works, including a drawing of Sir Winston Churchill.

Wales was to play a pivotal role in Sutherland’s career, and was the place in which, he commented, ‘I learned to paint’. Between 1934 and 1947, Sutherland made frequent journeys to Pembrokeshire and as an official war artist recorded bomb damage across south Wales. After working in the South of France for twenty years he made a chance return visit to Pembrokeshire in 1960s which led to a second period of creativity.

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