“If my paintings get to you,” the British painter Victor Willing said in 1986, two years before he died, “they do so before the sensible person has had time to draw any conclusion about them at all.” At the Slade School of Fine Art, young Willing stood out among his peers, his vision already making a mark. Later in life, having suffered from psychosis, and struggling with multiple sclerosis, Willing’s paintings grew enigmatic, sometimes giddily so. In the first Willings retrospective in the U.K. in almost a decade, works early, middle, and late are on view. As Nicholas Hatfull recently wrote in Apollo, “These are consummate paintings, bristling with paradox, resolutely opaque, wafting a particular intensity.” —E.C.
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