I recently came across the following brief review (by Jean Silvin) in L'Homme Libre (December 8th 1913) of a show by Jan and Cora Gordon in Paris.
The show was at Galerie Henri Manuel, 27, rue du Faubourg-Montmartre. Silvin enjoyed the lively and original character of Jan Gordon's works, especially the watercolours. He admired the rich colours, movement and atmosphere of his Mediterranean impressions. He also enjoyed Cora Gordon's "delicious fantasies" - see this review in The Observer for a different perspective! Édouard de Max had a similar view to Silvin of Cora Gordon's "rather exotic art."
Very interestingly, this edition of L'Homme Libre also contains a discussion of the ministerial crisis ongoing at the time (one of the two possibilities I mentioned here), which makes the show referred to consistent with the account of the Gordon's exhibition at Galerie Manuel in "Gradus ad ... Montparnassum" (1929). The chronology of that account is then inconsistent with the timing of the Gordons' first London show. This December show may not have been their first at Galerie Henri Manuel, but perhaps the incident of the fall of the ministry was too good to omit from the 1929 story.
Popular posts from this blog
Dazzle painting of ships has fascinated many since its first deployment during WW1, spawning numerous articles, books and imitations. The artist and writer Jan Gordon was one of the original protagonists; he designed dazzle patterns, wrote about the principles and practice of the art, and remembered those days fondly when later dedicating one of his books to a dazzle painting colleague, Steven Spurrier. One of the dazzle designs produced by Jan Gordon was that for HMS Southampton and I discuss below the available information on this design. I also recently bought the book " A Naval Lieutenant 1914-1918," which gives an account of the wartime experiences of the Southampton, with several contemporary comments on camouflage and dazzle. Camouflage of ships in WW1 At the beginning of WW1 in 1914 , Stephen King-Hall (as "Etienne"), serving on HMS Southampton , recalled, " After the big sweep we all went to Loch Ewe to coal, and here I remember noticing the ba
Jan and Cora Gordon visited Albania in the summer of 1925 and in 1927 published the book " Two Vagabonds in Albania ." Two phrases from this book resonated when I first read it: " Now and again a wolf howled from far away, and somewhere a kid, lost or smelling some wolf-taint in the air, bleated with persistent terror " pg. 138. and " As we came down into the cultivated fields of the valley we found ourselves walking through clouds of red-winged grasshoppers, which sprang up on all sides with a clattering flight ." pg. 139 The book begins with "Don't stay in Durazzo." From Durazzo they made a clockwise loop to the south, passing through Tirana, Elbasan, Berat, Kelcyre, Permeti and Gjinokastro before returning north to Tirana. The second leg of the journey was an excursion to the north, from Scutari up into the mountains. Map of prominent places visited on the southern loop described in "Two Vagabonds in Albania"
Walking around the national museum in Kuala Lumpur today, I came across a section on tin mining, including some photographs dating to 1906. This was the time when Jan Gordon was working here, during his failed attempt to launch a career in mining engineering. I wrote ( January 2014 ) on Jan Gordon's 1923 story in Blackwood's Magazine remembering this time (" An experiment in adventure "). Gordon was a keen engineer, but found that his job at the tin mines involved little mining engineering, but instead seemingly endless hours watching over the Chinese workers, who did not respect his leadership style. He also found himself living in an environment degraded by deforestation and opencast mining, having romantically imagined a lush forest bursting with exotic wildlife. ".. during his whole eighteen months on the mine he saw one snake, and that wasn't poisonous. The only wild beasts he ever heard were the pariah dogs of the village - howling at the moon .&quo