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A Strong Sweet Smell Of Incense: Derek Boshier at the Robert Fraser show

Feb 16th, 2015
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//Sam Spade, Derek Boshier, 1966, on the back wall of this recreation of the office at Robert Fraser Gallery, Duke Street, London W1//

Derek Boshier’s 1966 work Sam Spade is given prominence in A Strong Sweet Smell Of Incense, the exhibition dedicated to the connoisseurship of the late art dealer Robert Fraser.

Boshier was a client until he foreswore painting for a decade or more in 1968. This was a particularly difficult period for Fraser, who was jailed over the infamous Redlands drug bust at Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ house the previous year.

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//From Pace’s exhibition guide. The work in the background looks to be another of Boshier’s from the Sam Spade period//

Boshier has recounted how he became so frustrated over Fraser’s unwillingness to pass on payments in the 60s that he and his friend, the poet Christopher Logue, once broke into the Duke Street gallery and retrieved works Fraser had refused to release in lieu.

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British Posters: Advertising Art & Activism

Apr 19th, 2012

//Kiss Kiss, Go To Work On An Egg, Christopher Logue + Tom Salter, 1968.//

//Go To Work On An Egg, Mather & Crowther, 1964.//

“People do love huge pieces of paper”.

So runs the quote heading up a section in V&A curator Catherine Flood’s excellent overview British Posters: Advertising Art & Activism, published by the museum to coincide with its multifarious design celebrations this Olympic year.

And it’s true. We do.

Or we all did, when this vital form was simultaneously a mass-medium and a highly personal communications device, when huge promotional budgets and lack of urban controls resulted in the accretive papering of our street-scapes. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, we gave posters pride of place on the walls of our bedrooms, bedsits and sitting rooms.

//Top left: Your Britain, Fight For It Now, Abram Games, 1942. Right: Keep Death Off The Road, Carelessness Kills, William Little, 1949.//

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