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This profile was last updated on 10/28/06  and contains information from public web pages.
 
Background

Employment History

7 Total References
Web References
William Morris Society: 2006 UK Programme
www.morrissociety.org, 28 Oct 2006 [cached]
Rex Whistler: The Triumph of Fancy
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This exhibition is the first major retrospective to bring together Rex Whistler's work in all media; his days at the Slade School of Art, his greatest success in the 1930s, and the poignant jeux d'esprit of his final months.It reveals the full extent of Whistler's achievement in the context of his life and times.Recommended.
The Social Affairs Unit - Web Review: The Artist as Socialite and Soldier:
www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk, 4 Aug 2006 [cached]
, Weblog Home ­> The Artist as Socialite and Soldier: Rex Whistler: The triumph of fancy at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery , Previous entry , Next entry
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The Artist as Socialite and Soldier: Rex Whistler: The triumph of fancy at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
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Rex Whistler: The triumph of fancy Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
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Rex Whistler's life and art seem both very present and very far away. He would be a hundred had he not died as a comparatively elderly but tyro tank commander in the wake of the Normandy landings in 1944. He was 39, and was bravely putting right a slight military cock-up of his own making, when a mortar shell blew him - externally undamaged - to kingdom come. He was a famous artist: a muralist and illustrator. But he was also loved as a man: The Times reported more responses to his obituary than to any other of the war.
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I am not sure why Whistler should appeal now.
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It is often said that Evelyn Waugh based Charles Ryder of Brideshead Revisited on Rex. Certainly, it makes sense if we then see Stephen Tennant, a great friend of Rex's, as Sebastian Flyte.
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Rex wasn't nearly rich enough (though successful), nor classy enough (his father was a builder and his grandfather - appropriately - a painter and decorator) to be a serious contender in the marriage stakes he observed around him.
Rex was almost a professional Bright Young Thing. He was bosom friends with Cecil Beaton, who more perfectly fits that bill. Beaton's photograph of Rex and various others as Fragonard shepherds on a classical bridge is fabulously gaudy and gleamy, but camp beyond measure. But even as he hung out with high-born figures, he must have felt the precariousness of his position. He had a relationship with Penelope Dudley-Ward, the daughter of the Prince of Wales' "friend". But he seems to have been seriously scorched by his feelings for Lady Caroline Paget. The National Trust conforms to the common idea that he was in love with this, the beautiful elder daughter of Plas Newydd.
It all seems to have got very complicated, what with Caroline's ambivalence toward him. He was tempted by the upper-middle class actress Jill Furse, who was later to settle with his own younger brother, Laurence, until her death just after giving birth to their child. Laurence's memoir of that brief marriage, Initials In the Heart (1964 and 1975), makes a perfect partner with his biography of Rex, The Laughter and the Urn (1985).
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But there was serious painting, too, as shown in a big 1994 Army Museum show, Rex Whistler's War (1939-July 1944): Artist into Tank Commander.
William Morris Society: 2006 UK Programme
www.morrissociety.org, 28 Oct 2006 [cached]
Rex Whistler: The Triumph of Fancy
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This exhibition is the first major retrospective to bring together Rex Whistler's work in all media; his days at the Slade School of Art, his greatest success in the 1930s, and the poignant jeux d'esprit of his final months. It reveals the full extent of Whistler's achievement in the context of his life and times. Recommended.
RA :: SUMMER 2006 :: Fatal charm
www.ramagazine.org.uk, 28 Feb 2005 [cached]
High society proved Rex Whistler,s downfall, says Peter Murray
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Self-Portrait in Uniform, 1940, by Rex Whistler. © The Estate of Rex WhistlerSelf-Portrait in Uniform, 1940, by Rex Whistler. © The Estate of Rex Whistler
In ,Rex Whistler: the Triumph of Fancy,, the Brighton Pavilion celebrates the work of a largely forgotten British artist.While his fellow students at the Slade grappled with Modernism, Reginald John (,Rex,) Whistler (1905,44) created a whimsical universe and became one of the ,Bright Young Things, of the 1920s.
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From his 1925 murals that still decorate the Tate restaurant, to neo-rococo decorative schemes at Mottisfont Abbey and Port Lympne, Whistler,s career revolved around aristocratic houses, and in this rarefied atmosphere, the artist,s potential was never fully realised.
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In 1944, on his first day in Normandy, Whistler was killed.Post-war Britain had little time for his fanciful, romantic art, reminiscent of a vanished age.The architectural fantasies of his Tate restaurant murals, once considered ,the most amusing room in Europe,, suddenly seemed anachronistic.
This exhibition is therefore a timely chance to reconsider an artist whose talents flourished in an uncritical atmosphere and whose undoubted charm proved his downfall.Evelyn Waugh,s verdict on Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited , a character modelled on Whistler , was unequivocal: ,Charm is the great English blight.
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Whistler,s art is a curiosity, but an intriguing one, because it opens a visual window onto a period dominated by literary and theatrical achievement.
Rex Whistler: The Triumph of Fancy, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (01273 290900), until 3 Sep
Welcome to Adrian Sassoon
www.adriansassoon.com, 3 Sept 2006 [cached]
The Godmersham Goblet, designed by Rex Whistler and engraved by Lawrence Whistler, 1940'
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The designs were by Rex Whistler, England's greatest decorative painter of the inter-war period, who lost his life in 1944 in Normandy.
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Currently on loan to the exhibition Rex Whistler: The Triumph of Fancy, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Sussex, England, 14th April to 3rd September 2006
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