Jan and Cora Gordon: A London Exibition, 1937

I just came across a short review of the exhibition held by Jan and Cora Gordon at the Lefevre Galleries in March-April 1937. The report is in the Scotsman of Wednesday 10th March 1937.


At the Lefevre Galleries are four one-room shows, all of much interest. The Gordons, Jan and Cora, have each a group of paintings; Jan, tempera compositions of everyday subjects; Cora small oils of sunny towns. Both prefer downright colour-assertions to any subtleties of tone. And they like pattern that is broad, squarish, and telling. They have had a jolly time making these pictures. They like vermilion and sunshine and pictures with human interest - lots of it. Jan's London scenes are great fun.

The other exhibitors at this Gallery are Fergus Graham and Ben Nicholson. Fergus Graham paints grey, sad pastorals, bare and spacious, with a few trees all carefully garnished with twigs. No less lugubrious are his mystic compositions, where he approaches the border-line of surrealism."

One of my favourite of the tempera London scenes is shown below. My grandfather (Ashley Smith) bought several paintings in this series.

London scene,  The Daffodil Seller, tempera, by Jan Gordon, 1930s. I once speculated, "There's nothing to prove it, but this trio is very reminiscent of Doris, Pamela and Denis (W.D.A.) Smith, friends of Jan and Cora Gordon since WW1 days. Perhaps the partially obscured "SMITH & Co" above the shop door on the other side of the street supports this notion.

Reference: Catalogue of oil paintings by Cora J. Gordon and tempera paintings by Jan Gordon : March-April, 1937.London : Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd., 1937.


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