Bryan Organ



Past Lectures

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
53 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA

Picturing People:  A conversation with Bryan Organ

The emininent portrait painter Bryan Organ talked to theatre director Michael Attenborough at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery Leicester.  The event was a collaboration between New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester Sketch Club and Leicester Society of Artists. 

Read a review by writer Lydia Towsey here or download the text here here

Bryan Organ, Sir Richard [later Lord] Attenborough (detail), 1985-86, acrylic on canvas, Collection: Leicester Arts & Museums Service

"I think what painters are geared to do," says Bryan Organ, "is we are observers - professional observers.  It is about acute observation.  It is about looking intensely. Every movement, every movement of the lip, little mannerisms . . ..  The more you understand the subject, the better chance you’ve got.  It’s a multiple problem.  One, we have to learn the facility to put something down, hence learning to draw. The fingers need to do what we tell them in terms of a mark there, a dark there.  The next thing is, we need to use our imagination to say what we want to say."

A Past President of Leicester Society of Artists, Bryan Organ is one of the world’s leading portrait painters with 16 works in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Bryan Organ was born in Leicester in 1935 and he now lives in London and Leicestershire. Between 1952 -1959 he studied at Loughborough College of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools. He was a Lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Loughborough College of Art from 1959-65. He has had solo shows in London, New York, Italy and Germany. Represented by the Redfern Gallery since 1967, Bryan Organ's works are in public and private collections worldwide.

“In his role as face-maker, Bryan Organ emerges as one of the two or three painters in his generation to make any significant statement, let alone display any enthusiasm, for the despised art of the portrait.”

Sir Roy Strong, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, 1971.