Gore blimey. There was a film about Frederick Gore last night at my wonderful local Arts Centre, The Plough. It was one of three shown and introduced by film-maker Daniel Whistler; all very different in style. It was the Gore film that had attracted me of course, and I was intrigued to know how his work stood up against his more famous father, Spencer.
My early mentor, Henry Israel, once summed up a painting of mine with customary understatement , “Well, it’s certainly an eyeful.” I took this as veiled and not unreasonable criticism, and I don’t think Henry meant it as a compliment. But blimey, if Henry thought my still life of oranges and bananas and I can’t remember what in a wicker work basket was an image to hurt the retina, I can’t imagine what he would have thought of some of Frederick’s.
My work is sometimes called “colourful” – I’d never use that word, preferring ‘vibrant’. Surely you can’t just suffuse a painting with gaudy colour and hope it does the trick? Some of Gore’s violets and purples offended my eye –a shadow with the same value as a field of lavender, stark red and green contrasts. His work was far closer to the Fauves than the Post-impressionists. Think Roderick O’Conor perhaps. I much preferred his buildings even though some the beautiful pastel shades you get on old Provencal walls were gaudied up too much for me.