Tuesday, 3 January 2012
S E A R L E
Just heard the news from Professor Martin Salisbury that Ronald Searle has died. Martin met Searle and his wife a couple of years back for an interview with the great man to accompany an exhibition at The Ruskin Gallery Cambridge. By all accounts a warm lively meeting lubricated by fine champagne. Apart from Searle's stunning Japanese POW drawings I dismissed his work as old fashioned and dusty and dated. It wasn't until I clapped eyes on a large original of Searles's at The Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hannover circa 1991 a drawing depicting Toulouse-Lautrec in a Parisian brothel, that I conceded. I could see the the influential subtle genius in the draughtsmanship, but his work and that of his European contemporaries was the stuff I wanted to trample over. I failed. A few years ago an art editor friend of mine bought a Searle original with three separate vignettes on a theme of Wimbledon Tennis for £6000.00. I imagine they must've just doubled in value. I'll go and drink a toast to Ronald Searle.