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 Julian Bell

Julian Bell

Nationality: British


Julian Bell was born in 1952 and grew up in Newcastle and Leeds. His father was the potter and writer Quentin Bell, and his grandmother the painter Vanessa Bell. In the 1950s he stayed frequently at Charleston farmhouse on the Sussex downs, the home shared by his grandmother with the painter Duncan Grant. He read English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford from 1970 to 1973 and subsequently attended the City and Guilds of London Art School. From the mid 1970s Julian Bell has worked full time as a painter. Extensive work on commissions, ranging from formal group portraits to inn-signs (following the tradition of Antoine Watteau and Dora Carrington) has, he claims, been as much a formative influence on his work as his training at art school. Bell is the author of Bonnard (Phaidon, 1994), What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art (Thames and Hudson, 1999) and 500 Self Portraits (Thames & Hudson, 1999). He writes on other painters' work for the Times Literary Supplement, Modern Painters and The Guardian and poetry by him has appeared in the London Quarterly. A volume of his poems, Three Odes was published by Dale House Press in 1997. For three years he was an associate editor on Macmillan Publishers' Dictionary of Art. Julian Bell has been represented by Francis Kyle Gallery since 1993, and in spring 1994 was a major contributor to the Gallery's theme exhibition on the Piero della Francesca Trail. In 2000 he participated in The Art of Memory: contemporary painters in search of Marcel Proust, which received a second showing at the National Theatre in 2001. One-man exhibitions with Francis Kyle Gallery in 1996, 1999 and 2002. In 1999 Arrest at Nevada Bob's was purchased for the Permanent Collection of the Museum of London with the support of the V&A / MGC Purchase Grant Fund and the National Art Collections Fund.