Martin Amis and Friends: Photographs by Angela Gorgas

Past display archive
10 January - 13 September 2009

Room 33


Martin Louis Amis by Angela Gorgas 1979

Martin Louis Amis
by Angela Gorgas, 1979

This display of 25 previously unseen photographs marks the year in which Martin Amis celebrates his sixtieth birthday. These evocative black and white portraits taken by his friend, the photographer Angela Gorgas provide an intimate document of the literary and artistic circles in which they moved in the late 1970s.

Candia McWilliam by Angela Gorgas 1977

Candia McWilliam
by Angela Gorgas, 1977

Taken in London and Paris the photographs feature literary and social figures including Ian McEwan, Christopher Hitchens, Kingsley Amis, James Fenton, Pat Kavanagh and Candia McWilliam. These photographs have remained in the photographer's private collection for almost 30 years and offer us a unique insight into Amis and his friends in the period when the writer was working on the novels Success, Other People and the screenplay for the film Saturn 3.

Gorgas first met Amis in 1977 while working as a portraitist and freelance photographer. Amis was literary editor of the New Statesman, working with Christopher Hitchens and Julian Barnes, who was married to Pat Kavanagh, Amis's then literary agent. Engaged from 1978 to 1981, Amis and Gorgas lived and worked predominantly in London and spent several months in Paris, where they were frequently visited by friends including Ian McEwan, Christopher Hitchens, James Fenton and Mark Boxer. Gorgas's close relationships within this circle of friends has resulted in this remarkable collection of unguarded and candid portraits.

Gorgas started taking photographs as a teenager. She went on to study graphic design and photography at Hornsey College of Art and after graduation was recruited by renowned designer, David Hillman to work in the art department at Nova magazine. A painter as well as a photographer, Gorgas's paintings have been exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Mall Galleries.