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David Sylvester

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

(Anthony) David Bernard Sylvester

Sitter in 5 portraits
'A sacred monster of the Establishment', Sylvester was one of Britain's most famous critics and writers on modern art. He became a household name in early cultural broadcasting, with his 1964 series of films for the BBC, Ten Modern Artists. Sylvester played a seminal role in the rise of the international art exhibition, and his uncompromising passion is recalled with admiration and awe. From 1953-57 he was Visiting Lecturer at the Slade, and between 1960-70 he taught at the RCA. He was a member of the Art Panel of the Arts Council of Great Britain for twenty years, and was appointed CBE in 1983, later becoming a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1995), and an honorary academician of the RA.

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David Sylvester ('Mr Art'), by Larry Rivers - NPG 6675

David Sylvester ('Mr Art')

by Larry Rivers
oil on canvas, 1962
NPG 6675

David Sylvester, by Avigdor Arikha - NPG 6260

David Sylvester

by Avigdor Arikha
aquatint, 1973
NPG 6260

David Sylvester, by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda - NPG P537

David Sylvester

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

David Sylvester, by Ida Kar - NPG x131187

David Sylvester

by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, circa 1960
NPG x131187

David Sylvester, by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda - NPG x126969

David Sylvester

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


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