Sue Dunkley

21 September - 3 November 2023
Installation Views



Our forthcoming exhibition presents the vibrant Pop Art paintings from the 60s and 70s by British artist Sue Dunkley (b. 1942 Leicester - d. 2022 London, UK). Born to publican parents Dunkley moved around frequently when young, before studying at Bath Academy of Art (1959-61), Chelsea (1961-63) and the Slade, winning scholarships to visit Australia and Italy, and began teaching at art schools shortly after graduating in 1965. 
On view will be several paintings and intimate pastel drawings produced between 1968 and 1975; an extraordinary series deeply immersed in the culture and politics of the time, now startlingly fresh and contemporary. Taking as her subject contemporary icons of celebrity at the time such as John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, the female body and the male gaze, her paintings are striking works of colour and cultural commentary. Often autobiographical, Dunkley was deeply affected by her divorce in 1974, and raising two children, she wrestled with the challenges of being a woman, an artist and a mother. Her work explores violence, sexuality, and the role of women in changing eras. A feeling of haunting tension and melancholy is juxtaposed with the playful, bright primary colours. Parallels have been drawn with the work of Alex Katz, Allen Jones and Pauline Boty in particular.