Thursday, 15 November 2007
Eric Holder was co-director of The Abbott and Holder Gallery on Portobello Road, London. In 1960 I wandered into the Gallery with two of my works under my arm. Eric studied the works closely and suggested we go back to my studio on Queensway to see more. He arranged my first London oneman exhibition for a month later. Not only did he take a very small commission but he framed all my works at his own cost. After a very successful show we had a second exhibition in 1962. A year later I left for France for a forty two year stay. At left is a watercolour study I made of Eric in 1961.
Friday, 9 November 2007
In the late 1950`s Gray worked as designer for the Pike Theatre Dublin. His work included the setting for ``The Rose Tattoo``by Tennesee Williams and directed by Alan Simpson which caused a sensation when Simpson was arrested for ``indecent`` scenes in the production. Later Simpson was cleared and the production was invited to transfer to The Theatre Royal, Belfast where it was a big success. Simpson introduced Gray to Samuel Beckett and later Gray went to Beckett`s home in Paris to paint the portrait. Later the work was exhibited at The Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin. It is now in a private collection in Ireland.
This portrait of Bacon was done from life in Gray`s London studio in 1960 and exhibited and sold in Gray`s first London exhibition at Abbott and Holder Gallery, the same year. It has been in The National Portrait Gallery London`s permanent collection since 1975.