Chapman, Max, 1911-1999; Chinese

• My short article ‘Max Chapman and Oswell Blakeston: the life of an artistic couple’ is now published online by Art UK:


Illustrated here: Max Chapman’s painting Chinese (1963), collection of Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries. This painting was included in Chapman’s 1964 show at The Molton Gallery, London. The catalogue included the following text by the artist:

‘In a sense these are by intention ambiguous pictures, their final image being the sum of a number of questing images.

If I were asked to justify their deliberate equivocation, it would not be along current zeitgeist intellectual lines. It is simply a matter of my preference for an open verdict, a feeling for the multiplicity of phenomenal aspects.

“Truth at one stroke”, the unequivocal pictorial statement, has the advantage of strong immediate impact. But it is possible that pictures which reveal their exploratory nature have other dimensions. To this end I have retained the pentimenti, as signposts along the journey that has been made.’


• I have recently completed a substantial essay on the artist David Tindle, for inclusion in the catalogue of his forthcoming show at Huddersfield Art Gallery. I have also been invited to co-curate the show, which will be installed later this month. It opens on 12th November. Further updates to follow.



Posted in: Diary