Marlborough Fine Art was founded in 1946 in London by Frank Lloyd and Harry Fischer. Both had emigrated to Britain from Austria during the outbreak of war and first met in 1940 as soldiers in the Pioneer Corps of the British Army. In Vienna, Lloyd's family had been antique and picture dealers for three generations, while Fischer dealt in antiquarian books. The gallery opened at 17-18 Old Bond Street in London, selling antiquarian books and a few paintings and initially exhibiting works mainly by Impressionists, Post-Impressionist and French Modern masters. After opening the gallery, they were joined in 1948 by David Somerset, Duke of Beaufort.
In the early 1950s, Marlborough organized exhibitions devoted to European masters of the 19th and 20th centuries, including significant exhibitions by Mary Cassatt, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Paul Signac, Auguste Renoir and Vincent van Gogh, amongst many others.
‘The Ever-Creative Picasso,' The Sphere, September 25, 1954. Press for Picasso Pottery held from September 16 through October 9, 1954, at Marlborough Fine Art, London.
In the 1960s, Marlborough in London continued to hold a series of groundbreaking exhibitions, including Kandinsky, the Road to Abstraction, The Painters of the Bauhaus, Artists of Die Brücke and a major Kurt Schwitters retrospective. The gallery’s increasingly innovative program drew the attention of major collectors, museum directors, as well as art connoisseurs and students. The early 1960s also marked the opening of Marlborough New London at 17-18 Old Bond Street where the gallery would exhibit contemporary artists, including Kenneth Armitage, Francis Bacon, Lynn Chadwick, Barbara Hepworth, John Hoyland, R.B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Sidney Nolan, Victor Pasmore, John Piper, Ceri Richards, Graham Sutherland and Joe Tilson.
On David Somerset, Frank Lloyd, and Harry Fischer (pictured) from Paul Tanfield's article, 'The Fine Art of Making Money,' published in Daily Mail on October 4, 1960.
An American in London
In June 1961, Marlborough held its first exhibition with American Abstract Expressionist artist, Jackson Pollock. The exhibition showcased over sixty-two paintings, drawings and watercolors from the collection of Lee Krasner. Bringing together many previously unseen works produced between the 1930s and the artist's untimely death in 1956, the exhibition revealed the unity and originality expressed over Pollock’s oeuvre, solidifying the artist's legacy in the U.K.
David Carritt, 'The Dizzy Success Story of the Other House of Marlborough,' Evening Standard, September 6, 1961.
The New York Times, October 2, 1963
Time Magazine reporting on Marlborough's grand opening in November 1963
Eric Newton, 'Egon Schiele Exhibition', published in Guardian, October 9, 1964.
Henry Moore, excerpted from the 1984 exhibition catalogue for Henry Moore: The Reclining Figure, at the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.
David Cohen in Frank Auerback: Recent Work featured in 'The Many Faces of J.Y.M.,' published in RA Magazine, Autumn 1990.
Frank Auerbach quoted in Robert Hughes, Frank Auerbach, 1990, p. 162.
Ken Johnson for The New York Times, September 27, 2012
From 2014-2015, Marlborough Chelsea, alongside the Broadway Mall Association and The New York City Parks Department, presented Broadway Morey Boogie, an offsite sculpture exhibition that spanned the island of Manhattan. The exhibition borrowed its title from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s 1942-43 masterpiece, Broadway Boogie Woogie. The painting, which today is one of the Museum of Modern Art’s most popular artworks, once mobilized the avant-garde ideals of abstraction in a brash ode to the dynamism and vitality of New York City street life. This exhibition aimed to do the same by populating the backbone of Manhattan—from Broadway and West 166th Street to Columbus Circle—with a group exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary American artists. The first of its kind on ten highly-varied neighborhood sites, this show spanned a variety of mediums and methods employed by artists both emerging and established. The works were selected in an attempt to engage audiences at street level with accessible, thought-provoking artworks of modest to monumental scale.
Participating artists included: Sarah Braman, Dan Colen, Paul Druecke, Lars Fisk, Drew Heitzler, Matt Johnson, Joanna Malinowska, Tony Matelli, Davina Semo and Devin Troy Strother.
All Too Human was held at Tate Britain, London in 2018. The exhibition celebrated the painters in Britain who strove to intimately represent human figures, their relationships and surroundings.
The show brought together a small group of artists (Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, R.B. Kitaj, Leon Kossoff, Paula Rego and Euan Uglow) connected by ties of friendship and mutual admiration for the appearance and vulnerability of the body with the city of London as their surrounding context. Through their depictions of the figure and their own everyday landscapes, these artists conveyed the delicacy and vitality of the human condition while simultaneously developing new approaches and styles, reinventing their manner of representing life with pronounced individuality and imbuing painting with a rare intensity.
The exhibition also grounded this spirit in painting in a previous generation of artists, from Walter Sickert to David Bomberg, and how contemporary artists continue to express the tangible reality of life through paint.
Julius von Bismarck on his 2019 installation at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Die Mimik der Tethys.
Tate announces #5WomenArtists campaign featuring Magdalena Abakanowicz and Paula Rego
In March 2019, Tate announced its #5WomenArtists campaign, consisting of five large-scale solo exhibitions of women artists all set to open in its galleries in 2020-2021. These will include a 2020 exhibition of Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern and a 2021 career-spanning retrospective of Paula Rego’s paintings, drawings and prints at Tate Britain.