Unity Spencer obituary

By Andrew Lambirth

Daughter of Stanley Spencer who was a talented painter with a powerful imaginative vision

Unity Spencer, who has died aged 87, was perhaps best known for being the daughter of the artist Stanley Spencer, but she was also a talented painter in her own right, a skilful realist with a powerful imaginative vision. Two of her best and most memorable works, which reveal her father's influence, are a striking self-portrait from 1954, and a 1957 portrait of Stanley himself.

She had three solo shows of her paintings in London, and contributed to many mixed exhibitions, from the London Group to the Royal Academy shows. The first of her one-person shows was at Lauderdale House in Highgate, in 1993, the second at the Boundary Gallery in St John's Wood in 2001, both in north London, but it was the third that really established her reputation. In 2015, the Fine Art Society in Bond Street mounted the first West End exhibition of her work, to coincide with the publication of her autobiography, Lucky to Be an Artist. Fifty of her paintings from all periods were shown along with her etchings, accompanied by a group of pictures by her family: works by her parents, her uncles Gilbert Spencer and Richard Carline, and by her grandfather George Carline.

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