Somaya Critchlow and Isabel Seligman in conversation

This Spring Term, the Royal Drawing School continues its series of Creative Conversations; online dialogues between artists, curators and 
writers. Curated by Dr Claudia Tobin, lectures are held Wednesday evenings live on Zoom.

Somaya Critchlow and Isabel Seligman will discuss their understanding of the conversation between the art of the past and the present, and the legacy of artistic movements such as Surrealism, including questions of power, symbolism and emotion. They will also examine ideas about representation, the body and the nude. Underpinning the conversation will be a discussion of drawing and its relationship to other kinds of artistic practice 

Petworth Beauty (Abigail) / Somaya Critchlow in conversation

Petworth Beauty (Abigail)
Somaya Critchlow, 2020 oil on linen, 8.27 x 5.91 in (21 x 15 cm)
© Somaya Critchlow. Courtesy of the artist and Maximillian William, London

Somaya Critchlow (b. 1993, London) is known for her small scale works which depict bold curvaceous and self-possessed female characters of her own creation. Imbued with dark, rich hues of browns, Payne’s grey and purples, and using sensuous brushstrokes, her heroines emerge starkly against atmospheric backdrops of thinned oils evocative of classical European painting – Velázquez, Rubens et al – and David Lynch’s hazy, seedy environs. They are self-reflective and personal, and at the same time commentary of the cultural, class and political dynamics of contemporary society. Critchlow studied at the Royal Drawing School and the University of Brighton. She has most recently exhibited at Jeffrey Deitch, New York; Karma, New York; Maximillian William, London; and the Fortnight Institute, New York. Her work is included in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art; RISD Museum, Providence; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; ICA Miami and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, Norwich.  


Rachel Russell, Duchess of Devonshire / Somaya Critchlow in conversation

Rachel Russell, Duchess of Devonshire
Michael Dahl, c. 1696-99,oil on canvas, 256 x 165.5 x 8.5 cm
Petworth House, West Sussex © National Trust

Isabel Seligman
 is the Monument Trust Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawing in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. She curated the touring exhibitions 'Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now' (2016) and 'Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now' (2019) as part of the Bridget Riley Art Foundation project to encourage artists and art students to engage with drawings in the collection. She also wrote and co-authored the accompanying books published by Thames and Hudson. One of her research interests is the intersection of contemporary drawing with historical forms, processes, and techniques.