Derek Holland, ‘Tamar Bridge’

Sold for: £3,800 + fees

Derek Holland (1927-2014) mural, oil on board, 1962 ‘Tamar Bridge’ in three sections, each panel 183 x 122 (six by four feet).

Provenance – In Britain’s socialist post-war years, there was a determined cultural policy of taking art to the provinces and enabling large scale public artworks. Many of Britain’s well-known artists such as Henry Moore, Victor Pasmore and John Piper were commissioned to create new works. In 1962 London’s Victoria and Albert Museum staged an exhibition titled Mural Painting Today. Included in that exhibition was a three-panel work of the Tamar Bridge by Derek Holland. Holland had recently moved to Plymouth from London where he had studied and taught at the famous Central School of Arts and Crafts to take up a new position as Head of Fine Art at Plymouth College. His early abstract paintings were then a regular feature at London’s Redfern Gallery alongside many of the famous names of British and European Art. He was selected in 1961 for an exhibition of British Art in Venice chosen by Peggy Guggenheim.

Later Holland changed direction and became better known for his French landscapes which were exhibited at a solo exhibition at Plymouth Museum in the 1980s and The Newlyn Society of Artists in Penzance where he was a long-time member with his good friend Sir Terry Frost.

This triptych has not been seen or exhibited since the V&A exhibition over 50 years ago. Derek Holland passed away in 2014. He was described by Turner-Prize winning sculptor Richard Deacon RA, his former pupil at Plymouth College, as ‘a wonderful painter’.

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