Tuesday 23 July 2013
Paul Barker's obituary of William Turner (15 July) picks up Turner's career from the 1980s, implying that this was the start of a late career, writes Wendy Levy. In fact Turner was producing solo exhibitions annually and very successfully from 1971 until the end of 1985 at the Pitcairn Galleries in Knutsford.
In 1973 Peter Burdett, who then owned the Pitcairn Galleries and was Turner's first agent, rented accommodation for the artist in Lyons for two months to enable him to produce French rural and urban landscapes for his exhibition at the gallery the following year. Bill was joined in Lyons by his wife, Ann, and myself, the assistant curator at the gallery. This was the first time Bill Turner had travelled outside the UK. He was smitten with the French way of life and it was during this time that he developed his love of wine, stating that it fuelled his inspiration. His subsequent exhibition was an enormous success.
It was in 1973 that LS Lowry visited Bill Turner's solo exhibition at the Pitcairn Galleries, and some time later, when Turner painted a portrait of Lowry standing in the gallery (left). Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s Turner enjoyed a successful career, with large canvases being sold to collectors in the UK and in America.
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