T00161 DANCING FIGURES c. 1957
Canvas, 20×26 (51×66).
Purchased from the Leicester Galleries (Knapping Fund) 1957.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, December 1957 (25).
The artist's exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1957 included a number of compositions of dancing figures in landscapes and he has continued to paint variations on this theme. He cites a short description of his paintings by Martin Froy, which seems to him to give a just account of what he is trying to do:
'It is a characteristic of Anthony Fry's earlier paintings that, though carried out from the subject with great objectivity, it was the rhythmic and directional movements through the subject in depth which interested him, and his work at this time had an affinity to Cézanne in its structure rather than to, say Monet. But the particular light in his subject was also important, and hence the mood which was often nostalgic and, in the landscapes, Arcadian.
'The predicament of this kind of painter at the present time is an extraordinarily difficult one. For Anthony Fry the development of the style has been made possible by his belief in a race of young people, whose surfaces, catching the light, sculpture the three dimensional design. He has escaped the ambiguities which would arise if the objects in his picture were not identifiable. More than this the figures have a scarce and touching humanity, at one with the mood of the paintings. It is a very unusual quality and has perhaps attracted more attention than the formal aspect of his work; but it may well be that it is this which is most important to the artist and that the figuration is not inevitable.’
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I