Cliff Holden, original photograph by Bryan Long

Cliff Holden

Documents: 1999


Joseph's Questions

1. Bomberg's Teaching
1.1 I have heard you say that your association with David Bomberg was the decisive artistic influence on your career. Could you describe how this came about?
1.2 To go back a little, before you met Bomberg, you had already decided to paint?
1.3 You have described Bomberg as a teacher unlike any other. Why was that?
1.4 What were the philosophical ideas which most concerned you and your friends at that time?
1.5 How did Bomberg's own enthusiasms in art affect you and your fellow students?
1.6 Bomberg stressed drawing from the figure. Could you comment on this aspect of his teaching?
1.7 How were Bomberg's principles carried out in practice?
1.8 Was Bomberg's death an event which deeply affected you?
1.9 With which of your fellow students did you remain in close touch?
1.10 How do you view Bomberg's position in twentieth century art?

(Page 135)

2. Aims and Ideals
2.1 You draw a sharp line between art and designing. Why?
2.2 How far have you fulfilled Bomberg's ideas, and how have you developed them?
2.3 Are the materials of painting important to you, or do you regard them more as means to your ends?
2.4 What arts, apart from painting, have given you inspiration?
2.5 Is the natural world a dictionary for you, as it was for Delacroix?
2.6 Have your tastes and preferences in art changed over the years?
2.7 The action of painting has a particular meaning for you. What is it?

(Page 136)

3. Textiles and murals
3.1 Can you outline the way in which Marstrand Designers was formed?
3.2 How did changing conditions in the textile industry affect Marstrand Designers?
3.3 When did your commissions for buildings begin, and how did they develop?
3.4 You often work on textiles and panels for buildings. Do you like working in this way, and with which commissions have you been most pleased?
3.5 Your commissions on a large scale have required team work. How has this worked out?
3.6 Can you give an account of your well-known Volvo mural?
3.7 How did the commissions for work on ships begin?
3.8 Are there special problems for murals in ship interiors?
3.9 You have worked for various firms in different countries, and with a number of architects. Would you like to single out some particularly good working relationships?
3.10 Are there still some sorts of commissions which you would like to undertake, perhaps for an airport or a London Underground station?

(Page 137)

4. Aims and Ideals
4.1 Exhibiting in Sweden enabled you and your friends to see parallels in Swedish art to your own practice. Can you account for this affinity?
4.2 Marriage in Sweden resulted in your developing a combined career as a painter and designer. Was this difficult for you?
4.3 You used silk-screen in an original way as a print-maker. Could you explain this?
4.4 Your painting is represented in a number of major galleries, as well as private collections. Do you feel you would have benefited from more early recognition?
4.5 You have exhibited widely. Are there some exhibitions of which you have particularly good memories?
4.6 Living in Sweden has given you many friends. Would you like to single out a few important professional friends and allies?
4.7 Can you give some examples of how you have encouraged connections between British and Swedish art?

(Page 138)

[Page last updated: 11th January 2006]

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