From Jenny Holzer to Henry Moore, from Patrick Procktor to Michael Wishart, from Duncan Grant to Hugo Guinness, from the arrestingly contemporary to the unexpectedly classic, Doomed and Famous brings together a gloriously personal selection of works from the collection of writer, critic, curator (and one-time child star) Adrian Dannatt. The exhibition - which coincides with the UK launch of Dannatt’s book of the same name - is rich in cross-currents and connections - art-historical, historical, psycho-geographical, aesthetic and, above all, autobiographical.
Items range from a World War I German helmet won in battle by the grandfather of Dannatt, through to portraits of him by everyone from Paul Benney to Orlando Mostyn- Owen, to an Orthodox icon from his time on Mount Athos.
Suitably for an exhibition held in a gallery next to Fitzroy Square there will be several works capturing the place's charm, not least by Dannatt’s own parents as his family had a flat there from the Blitz until he himself moved out in 1990. The Bloomsbury Group were also regular residents of the square and the show features an erotic sketch by Duncan Grant and a very rare portrait of Virginia Woolf created in 1915.
Amongst the many artists, writers, filmmakers and architects included one might mention such names as; Richard Hamilton, Joanna Kirk, James Coleman, Liza Fior, Augustus John, Anthony Palliser, Roger Hilton, Gio Ponti, Willie Landels, Pierre Le Tan, John Pawson, Lawrence Durrell, Mary and Tessa Newcomb, Keith Vaughan, Wolf Mankowitz, Douglas Gordon, Glynn Boyd Harte and Duggie Fields.
This exhibition constitutes the second part of the launch of Dannatt’s book, Doomed and Famous (a selection of his obituaries of improbable bohemian figures, written over the last four decades), the first having been a show of works from his collection in New York held at Miguel Abreu Gallery at the beginning of 2021. The only artist who will appear in both shows will be Hugo Guinness, who created the drawings for the book.
Works and copies of the book will be for sale with the author on hand to sign them.