AFrom a" C.H." Reporter LBERT PERRY, the artist who believes himself to hold the world record for rejections from the Royal Academy Exhibition—he has submitted paintings regularly for more than twenty years —is not unrecognised or unsung by the Paris Salons or the Scottish Academy. where he equally regularly is accepted.
This year the Salon reprints in its illustrated catalogue Mr Perry's Pottery, a flamboyant still-life study--a special honour, since only an infinitesimal percentage of the whole exhibition is chosen for reproduction. So Mr Perry doesn't care about the Academy, or take its judgment very seriously.
Outside of his religion (Mr Perry is a Catholic) and his interest in people" Hallo, friend " is his greeting to everyone, and you couldn't nelp believing In that—it is hard to know what Mr Perry does take seriously. His art? I suspect so, but he won't let anyone think it. His paintings, hot with every colour squeezed from the spectrum, hang all over the walls of a comfortable little villa down Tooting way. They tend to exploit the circle motif, and what some of them mean, well, goodness and Mr Perry only know.
WITH a sense of humour like Mr Perry's it is not surprising that the Surrealists suggest fields of half
serious experiment. So Mr Perry entered the Artists' International Exhibition in the Whitechapel Art Galleries this spring with a canvas meticulously painted all over to represent damask, its monotony broken only in the left top corner by a perfectly realistic representation of an egg. " They tempt us artists to do these things," said Mr Perry.
Sometimes, it seems but here again Mr Perry may be pulling my leg (blessed if I know)—this artist paints his picture first and then discovers a subject for it. Radio, a glorious study in swirling shapes of green, emerged only into a conception of radio when it was well on the way to completion.
But not all Mr Perry's canvases are problematic. Colour in the Kitchen is easy enough for any outsider to catch the meaning—a good meal. the favourite lobster and a comforting pipe. Then there arc lots of magnificent portraits, bright with the Perry genius for colour, but perfectly orthodox in their execution.
THE worst schoolboy drawings give this painter ideas, and hanging nearly outside his front door (space is congested for an art gallery in the average suburban house) Is a fantasy, faultlessly painted, which is only an exalted interpretation of Mr Perry's worst pupils' drawings.
I believe Mr Perry would find fun and a subject for bright paint in anything. He admits that he has tackled most things, but he has never painted a religious picture.