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Rare exhibition featuring works from celebrated Shepherd's Bush artist starts

Leon Underwood is regarded as the "father of modern sculpture in Britain"

Leon Underwood, Venus in Kensington Gardens, 1921, oil on canvas (private collection)

The first major exhibition for more than 45 years of the work of Shepherd’s Bush artist Leon Underwood is taking place.

Work by the expert sculpture, painter, writer, draughtsman, printmaker and poet is being displayed at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, until June 14.

Born in Percy Road, off Askew Road, in 1890, Mr Underwood is a described as a hugely underrated artist who is said to be the father of modern sculpture in Britain.

He was also the teacher of celebrated artists Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Eileen Agar – with Moore famously praising Underwood for his ‘passionate attitude towards drawing from life’.

Leon Underwood at work in his studio

The exhibition - titled Leon Underwood: Figure and Rhythm - offers people a rare chance to see an impressive collection of one of the borough’s greatest artists, and charts the development of Underwood’s work from early paintings based on his experiences as a camouflage artist in the First World War to his bronze sculptures on philosophical themes created in the 1950s and 1960s.

After serving in the First World War, Mr Underwood attended Slade School of Fine Art in London before being becoming a teacher at the Royal College of Art.

Not long after in January 1921, he founded the Brook Green School of Art in Girdlers Road, Hammersmith, attracting artists such as Hepworth and Gertrude Hermes to attend classes in the evening outside of their studies at the Royal College of Art.

The exhibition includes over 100 works from private collections and public museums, including the Ashmolean Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Leeds Museums and Art Galleries, and the National Portrait Gallery.

Leon Underwood, Self-Portrait in a Landscape, 1921, etching on paper (Private collection)

And fans of the engravings produced by the the Brook Green School of artists can also explore the Gallery’s sister show: ‘Wood Engraving and the Brook Green School: Eileen Agar, Gertrude Hermes, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Henry Moore and their Contemporaries

For more information go to www.pallant.org.uk.

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