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David Sylvester (1924-2001), Writer on art and exhibition curator

(Anthony) David Bernard Sylvester

Sitter in 5 portraits
Described as 'a sacred monster of the Establishment', Sylvester was one of Britain's most famous critics and writers on modern art. In the 1950s and 60s Sylvester became a household name in cultural broadcasting. His series of films for the BBC, Ten Modern Artists (1964), introduced many to the work of Francis Bacon, Willem De Kooning and Alberto Giacometti among other contemporary artists. Sylvester played a seminal role in the rise of the international art exhibition; among the exhibitions he organised in London were Henry Moore (1951), Chaïm Soutine (1963), Alberto Giacometti (1965), René Magritte (1969), Dada and Surrealism Reviewed (1978) and Late Picasso (1988)

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David Sylvester

by Avigdor Arikha
aquatint, 1973
NPG 6260


David Sylvester

by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda
colour print, 1992
NPG P537


David Sylvester

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, circa 1960
NPG x131187


David Sylvester

by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda
bromide fibre print, 1979
NPG x126969


David Sylvester ('Mr Art')

by Larry Rivers
oil on canvas, 1962
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6675