Natalie Dower obituary


My pal Natalie Dower, who has died aged 92, was a extremely revered artist whose summary work, sculpture and 3D reliefs featured in lots of notable exhibitions exploring Techniques and Constructivist artwork from the early Eighties onwards, together with Rhythm and Geometry on the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich (2021).

Natalie was a splendidly direct and provoking particular person, whose work mirrored a looking intelligence and true independence of character. An “artists’ artist”, she was deeply dedicated, painted every single day and paid little consideration to creating a public profession. Paula Rego described her within the Artwork Newspaper in 2019 as one of many UK’s “most underrated” cultural figures.

She was born in London, the one youngster of Lavender (nee Clerk) and Col Alan Dower. Her father was the Conservative MP for Penrith and Cockermouth, and Natalie spent her early childhood at Excessive Head Fort, in Cumbria, earlier than turning into an unenthusiastic boarder at Benenden faculty in Kent. Skilled at Camberwell College of Artwork (1949-52) and the Slade College of Superb Artwork (1952-54) in London, she made lifelong friendships with fellow artists together with Craigie Aitchison, Patrick George and Rego.

Following artwork faculty she lived in Kent for 10 years with the painter Euan Uglow earlier than shifting to Morocco and later Estoril, in Portugal, the place she established a studio in 1973.

Whereas a lot of her contemporaries developed their work in relation to figurative traditions, Natalie took a special path. From the late Nineteen Sixties she change into more and more influenced by the language of abstraction, crediting Malcolm Hughes for introducing her to a constructivist strategy. She adopted a private, typically idiosyncratic route into programs artwork, producing a big physique of labor over the subsequent 50 years.

Natalie was extremely experimental and by no means afraid to make use of new supplies. Her work ranged from delicate, small-scale oils on panel and complex painted picket reliefs and sculpture, to majestic large-scale canvases and wall-based installations. She had solo exhibitions in London with, amongst others, Air Gallery, Curwen Gallery, Francis Graham Dixon Gallery, Jonathan Clark Superb Artwork and the Eagle Gallery/EMH Arts. In 2012 EMH Arts revealed Line of Enquiry, which traced her inventive improvement from 1947 onwards. She started displaying in exhibitions that positioned her work alongside that of a lot youthful artists, who appreciated her affect and curated her into new contexts.

Identified with Alzheimer’s in 2018, she confronted sickness with nice fortitude and continued to color utilizing preparatory drawings she had made in earlier years. Her deep appreciation of music continued over this time and introduced her nice consolation.

Natalie is survived by a cousin, Rosanna Westmacott.


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