Patrick Procktor: The lost dandy | Life & Style

Patrick Procktor: Art and Life, by Ian Massey. Ian is our subject leader for Communication Design here at the School of Art Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield.

There was a time when the artist Patrick Procktor was as famous as his great friend David Hockney.

‘You couldn’t really mention one without the other. It was like Castor and Pollux. They were the dandy twins of the art world,’ explains the art critic John McEwen in a new book, Patrick Procktor: Art and Life, by Ian Massey. The artists met when they were still at art school: Hockney at the more experimental Royal College of Art; Procktor at the Slade. It was February 1962, the sending-in day for Young Contemporaries, the annual exhibition showcasing work by selected students. ‘We started talking, and we just became friends quickly,’ says Hockney.” …. read on Patrick Procktor: The lost dandy | Life & Style.

Ffrom the Inside Flap

“Patrick Procktor RA (1936-2003) has been one of the least
documented of the artists who came to prominence in
London in the Sixties. A notable painter and printmaker, he
was also a portraitist of distinction: his subjects include many
of the Sixties and Seventies figures with whom he associated,
and his portraits of the actress Jill Bennett and playwright Joe
Orton are amongst the iconic images of the era. Procktor
designed for the stage at the Royal Court Theatre and for
Sadler’s Wells, and exhibited his paintings internationally. His
travels in India, Italy, China and Egypt inspired important
bodies of work in painting and printmaking.
Ian Massey’s comprehensive and copiously-illustrated study
draws on original interview material with those who knew
Procktor at all stages of his life and career, including many key
names of the period: the cast list includes Celia Birtwell,
Christopher Gibbs, Gilbert and George, David Hockney, Lord
Snowdon, David Oxtoby and Kyffin Williams. The text
includes previously-unpublished archive material and personal
correspondence.
The book examines Procktor’s relationships with gallery
director Bryan Robertson, the artist Michael Upton,
model/pop singer Gervase Griffiths and restaurateur Kirsten
Benson, whilst also documenting the wider circle of his
acquaintance. A renowned dandy and wit, described by his
friend Roger Cook as `a social genius’, Procktor’s friends
included Cecil Beaton, Richard Buckle, Ossie Clark, Derek
Jarman, David Hockney, Peter Langan, Princess Margaret, and
Keith Vaughan. From his schooldays to training as a Russian
linguist in the Royal Navy, to study at the Slade School of Fine
Art in the late Fifties and early Sixties and his first major
success in 1963, the author charts Procktor’s life and career.
He describes the development of the artist’s work – much of
which is intensely autobiographical – and the ways in which
its critical reception was informed by Procktor’s persona.
His later years were blighted by alcoholism and loneliness, but
Procktor continued drawing and painting very nearly to the
end.
The book includes more than a hundred colour and black and
white reproductions of works from throughout the artist’s
career, many of them never before published, with fascinating
documentary photographs of Procktor and his friends.

This is the first major study of the British artist Patrick Procktor RA (1936-2003), a key figure of the Sixties and Seventies. The book draws on original interviews with those who knew Procktor at all stages of his life and career: amongst the large cast list are Celia Birtwell, Kaffe Fassett, Christopher Gibbs, Gilbert and George, David Hockney, Lord Snowdon and Kyffin Williams. The text draws also on unpublished archive material, including personal correspondence. The book is profusely illustrated with reproductions of the artist’s work, many of which have never before been published, along with fascinating documentary photographs of Procktor and his circle.”

The book includes 177 colour illustrations and 49 in black and white. details from amazon

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