News and events

News

Leon Underwood exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery

16 March 2015

Leon Underwood etching

An exhibition of the work of Leon Underwood (1890-1975) has opened at the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester.

Leon Underwood was an alumnus of Regent Street Polytechnic who has been described as ‘the precursor of modern sculpture in Britain’. A significant influence on pupils such as Henry Moore and Eileen Agar, Underwood created a diverse body of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints.

Dr Peter Catterall, Reader in History in the Department of Social and Historical Studies, recently visited the exhibition and said of his visit:

“Westminster has produced a number of distinguished alumni in the field of the arts. I had not realised before I went to the exhibition that Leon Underwood was among them. Underwood, who attended Regent Street Polytechnic in 1907-10, is the greatest unsung British artist of the 20th century. His art is eloquent, sometimes ironic, and always strongly expressive, as is his mastery of a range of artistic mediums ranging from etchings through oils to sculpture. Starting with powerful pieces as an official artist of the First World War, the exhibition moves on to some of the cleverest surrealist paintings I have ever seen. His sheer range, and the fact that Underwood never subscribed to a particular school of art, probably explains his continuing relative obscurity. Yet he was in many ways a visionary artist, willing to challenge accepted norms by, for instance, painting versions of classical images of the Greek goddess Venus, but depicting her as African. He was rightly critical of contemporaries who aped primitive art without understanding the context of the artistic languages of West Africa or Mexico which he carefully incorporated into his work. The result is a unique artistic vision that references and respects various cultures, all executed with superb draughtsmanship. 'Leon Underwood: Figure and Rhythm' brings together over 100 of his pieces for the first major retrospective of this strangely underrated artist since his death in 1975. I thoroughly recommend a visit.”

More information about the exhibition: Leon Underwood, figure and rhythm.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


For the media


For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.

Press office

Please contact our press agency for any media enquiries regarding University of Westminster on

T: +44 (0)20 3697 4200
E: universityofwestminster@fourbroadgate.com