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Inge Clayton
(1942 — 2010)

Inge Clayton studied life drawing, collage and printmaking at the Camden Arts Centre and soon developed her individual style, though traditional concepts of beauty do not interest her.


It is naturally assumed that works of art that exalt the eroticism of the female body must have originated in the eyes of a man: Inge Clayton and her passion for the human form prove this assumption wrong.


The eroticism of her work, however, is not simply contained in her subject matter. The contrast between the pale flesh of the veiled and exposed bodies and the darker potent space which envelopes them is ambiguous, yet seductive: in those tensions lies their enigmatic allure.


British critics are often quick to point out the European heritage in this painter’s work and have likened her to artists such as Otto Dix, Kokoschka, and perhaps George Grosz, but her nudes are sensuous and painterly in style, very much her own. Above all this connection to her roots is the most striking when one considers how powerful her nudes remain despite their naked or half-dressed abandonment and apparent vulnerability. There is nothing British and oblique about their gaze.


Her figures may look at you, unabashed, a little startled, or may prefer to contemplate some dark corners of their soul, amused, pensive, or even with genuine ennui. When they abandon themselves, they surrender as much to the richness of the paint as to the viewer’s eye.


In 1992 Dr Peter Marginter, the Austrian Cultural Attaché, observed when opening the exhibition at the Anna Mei Chadwick Gallery:”Inge’s women in particular, invariably sensual or erotic, sometimes sinister or humorous, came from the same background as Schiele’s nudes, born as victims of male oppression… but her powerful naked or scantily dressed figures seem to be quite independent, free to choose or refuse.”


Clayton’s restless energy has turned to sculpting the human figure and horses, a further affirmation to her ability.Inge Clayton is a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Other notable exhibitions include the Royal Society of Art; Art for Equality at the ICA; Kunsthaus Schaller, Stuttgart; The Camden Arts Centre; Lumley Cazalet; and Galerie Mozart-Salzburg.


Courtesy of the artist’s website.