Over the coming weeks, artist Julian Gordon Mitchell will be hosting a number of events at the West Hampstead Community Centre.

The series starts off this weekend with a lecture called The Entire History of Art, taking place this Sunday. The lecture is a very personal view of art and its history. Learn about the masterpieces of Greek art that inspired the Renaissance. Hear about the quarrel between Michelangelo and Leonardo (between Michelangelo and everyone in fact), and learn the real reason why modern art got so weird.

The lecture is intended to be an enjoyable introduction to the canon of western painting. “Although I am going to talk about contemporary art I feel that some of the greatest achievements of western painting are not understood by the ordinary gallery-goer in the way that contemporary art is,” says Julian.

“Because of my particular perspective as a practicing painter I want to explain to people why I find works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Velasquez for example so exciting. I also want to offer a commentary on modern art that doesn’t follow the usual pattern of patronizing explanation or uncomprehending derision.”

On Friday, November 30, Julian will explain the steps involved in developing a realistic portrait from life. The workshop is an opportunity to see a portrait painter working from the model; Julian will explain the steps involved in developing a realistic portrait from life. The demonstration will include advice on painting the features, fabric and hair. Julian is happy to talk as he works and answer questions as they arise. All levels of experience and ability are welcome.

Julian’s second lecture, Pickled Sharks and All That, on Sunday, December 2, will explain the relentless ascendancy of avant-garde art from its eccentric and occult beginnings in Dada and Surrealism, to its public apotheosis in the Tate and Turner Prize.

Join the rollercoaster ride through Bohemian Paris, decadent Berlin and boozy New York. Discover the cryptic political purposes to which this most provocative art was put and its peculiar consequences in the present day.

  • Julian Gordon Mitchell is at West Hampstead Community Centre, Dornfell Street, Hampstead. The Entire History of Art is on Sunday, November 11 from 3pm to 6pm, the Painting a Portrait workshop is on Friday, November 30 from 8pm to 9.30pm, and Pickled Sharks and All That is on Sunday, December 2 from 3pm to 6pm. Details: contact Cindy on 07904088341 or email support@laritmaconsulting.com