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An inspirational teacher at the Royal College of Art and Central Saint Martins from the sixties onwards, John Dougill’s habitual and (literally) self-effacing practice of reworking and updating each painting has led to too few sightings of his art.
In a series of small paintings reviewing and recording the London cityscape as it modifies itself before his window, the present exists perpetually on the verge of dissolution.
Is it an illusion, is that a quote from Giorgione or Corot? An allegory - is a judgement involved? All of these are implicated in a complex suite of reflections upon time, the changing city in the fading light and the process of painting itself.
"Paris changes; nothing in my melancholy
stirs … new mansards, arrondisements razed en bloc,
glass, scaffolding, slum wards – all allegory!
My memories are heavier than rock!"
Charles Baudelaire, ‘Le Cygne’, freely translated by Robert Lowell