Out of the Cage: The Art of Isabel Rawsthorne

February 25, 2021 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us online for a talk by Dr Carol Jacobi on Isabel Rawsthorne, a key artist in Women’s Art Collection. Following the publication of her new monograph on Rawsthorne, Jacobi will discuss the artist’s fascinating life and extraordinary work, as well as her own approach to feminist art history. The talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Isabel Rawsthorne (1912-1992) was hidden in plain sight. From celebrated portraits of her in Berlin to sketches in the Tate, likenesses in museums around the world have kept her secrets. A contemporary of the Parisian and London avant-gardes, Rawsthorne’s own painting career was somewhat eclipsed by the many occasions on which her friends made her the subject of their art, notably Jacob Epstein, André Derain, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon. Exhibited from the early 1930s, her startling work first garnered serious attention in the 1940s and she was well-known in the 1950s and 1960s; but after she died, popular biographies of Giacometti and Bacon cemented her status not as an artist, but as an artist’s muse.

Jacobi’s richly-illustrated book, ‘Out of the Cage: The Art of Isabel Rawsthorne’, takes the lead from Rawsthorne’s compelling biography to reconsider sixty years of her art, now housed in several major public collections. Jacobi re-examines the pre- and post-war art history of which Rawsthorne was a part, tracing the painter’s life and art through the upheavals of the 20th century and her intense and often unconventional relationships with some of its most revered figures.

Carol Jacobi is Curator of British Art at Tate Britain. She has taught, written and broadcast widely on nineteenth and twentieth-century art and recently curated the major Tate exhibition ‘Van Gogh and Britain’. Jacobi has been lecturing and publishing on Isabel Rawsthorne and her circle for more than a decade, with works including the award-winning ‘British Art in the Nuclear Age’ and ‘Picasso’s Portraits of Isabel Rawsthorne’ in The Burlington Magazine. Following the success of her recent bestseller ‘Van Gogh and Britain’ (shortlisted for the William MB Berger Prize), ‘Out of the Cage: The Art of Isabel Rawsthorne’ is her eleventh book and is published by the Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing.

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