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Alistair Park (1930-1984)

My article on the artist, written for the Public Catalogue Foundation is now online:

When researching Alistair Park I had an email correspondence with his son Stephen, who was generous in sharing information and memories of his father with me. Here I am posting an excerpt from an email Stephen Park sent to me in May this year, which gives an additional insight into his father’s relationship to art:

“I was dragged around a lot of galleries with my father as a child. He remained passionate about the entire collective endeavour of painting through history, excluding almost nothing as far as I can remember. I particularly remember his involvement with Goya, Rembrandt, early Dubuffet, and all of Picasso (though he singled out some early ones that I found ugly), Cezanne, Van Gogh etc. He also delighted in Magritte and Hopper. When I was old enough to talk with him about art he was always contemporary in his conversation. We had books about Jasper Johns, Gilbert and George and Joseph Beuys – lots of Joseph Beuys – and Duchamp also became important to him.  But regarding the earlier painters I listed, it was rather as if they needed no discussion, he was just enraptured.  I remain very grateful for his attitude to the arts in general; that the Beethoven and the Captain Beefheart records were next to each other without any contradiction.
In the early eighties, not very long before he died, we saw the Philip Guston exhibition together at the Whitechapel and we both enjoyed the feeling of being thrown off kilter and re-excited about what painting could be and do.”

• Recently I visited the Connaught Brown gallery in London. Amongst work in their current summer show are two lovely paintings by the Italian painter Afro Basaldella (1912-1976, and known as Afro). This October Connaught Brown will mount an exhibition of the artist’s work, which I look forward to very much. Illustrated here is one of the two works currently on show at the gallery, Senza Titolo (1965), mixed media on wood. © Foundation Archive Afro/Connaught Brown, London.

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