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The Sincerest Form of Flattery – Great Images and those who borrow them Barry Venning Tuesday 27 February 2018

Artists and designers have always imitated their predecessors.  Their motives for doing so range from genuine respect to outright parody, and the more a work is copied, adapted, quoted and repackaged, the more it lives on in the public imagination.  This is a lecture that deals with artistic borrowing, drawing on a very wide range of art and design, including painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design and fashion. The artists on whom it touches include Constable, Leonardo, Manet, Warhol, Turner, Dali, Harry Beck (creator of the Tube Map), Alexander McQueen (fashion designer), the photographers Martin Parr and Lewis Morley.  It concludes with the strange 'afterlife' of Alfred Leete's famous WW1 recruiting poster of Lord Kitchener.

Reading : “From Christ to Coke: how image becomes icon.” Martin Kemp Oxford University Press 2012 / “Turner inspired - in the Light of Claude. “ Ian Warrell Yale University Press 2012 / “Picasso – Challenging the Past” Elizabeth Cowling and Neil Cox  Yale University Press 2010 / “Appropriation: documents of contemporary art” David Evans (editor) Whitechapel Art Gallery 2009.

Barry Venning has talked to us previously - on “Cartoonists’ Views of Modern Art” in 2016 and, at short notice, on “American Abstract Art” in 2017.

He is an historian of British art with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner, on whom he has published widely, including the volume on Turner in Phaidon's Art & Ideas series, and several catalogue essays for exhibitions in the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland.  He was the BBC's script consultant on Turner's Fighting Temeraire and has recently taken part (2013) in a BBC documentary called The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution.  He has also published a study of John Constable's paintings.  His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art.  He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society, Christie's Education and other organisations.