Wistful Thinking

The Art and Life of Patrick Procktor

A close friend and contemporary of David Hockney, Patrick Procktor was among the vibrant, dandified young gentlemen that came to define British Pop Art in the 60s. But while Hockney relocated to California, espousing the bold, glamorous style of the Golden State in his pool paintings of the late 1960s and becoming an international superstar in the process, Procktor remained in Marylebone, London, for 36 years, devoting himself to the sun-drenched watercolor paintings that were his trademark. Six-and-a-half-feet tall and with a penchant for floating scarves and bright pastels, he was, according to painter Maggi Hambling (who met him while studying at Camberwell School of Art), “an extraordinary, giraffe-like creature.” He never matched the success of Hockney—his images have a yearning, romantic sensibility that didn't jibe with the Schnabel-obsessed galleries of the 70s—but throughout his life he remained a figurehead of Britain’s new generation of artists, socializing with Princess Margaret (whom he would hilariously impersonate at parties), Cecil Beaton and Derek Jarman (who used to keep one of Procktor’s paintings hung above his bed). This exclusive selection of Procktor’s paintings and sketchbook images, as well as excerpts from his personal photo albums, coincides with Patrick Procktor: Art and Life by Ian Massey, published today by Unicorn Press
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