13 APRIL 1956, Page 7

THE LATEST eruption in the world of art is slightly

confusing. An honorary committee was set up to sponsor an exhibition of works by the late Nicolas de Stael at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, and on this committee sat, among others, Sir John Rothenstein, Director of the Tate Gallery, Mr. Douglas Cooper and Mr. Graham Sutherland. A few days ago it was announced that Mr. Douglas Cooper had, in a strongly worded letter, resigned from the committee—apparently because he objected to the presence on it of Sir John Rothenstein, who, according to Mr. Cooper, had done nothing for de Stael in his lifetime. Mr. Graham Sutherland resigned at the same time, also writing from the South of France. He did not, it seems, give his reasons. However, it should be recorded that four or five years ago Sir John brought works by de Stael in front of the Board at the Tate—only to have them rejected; and that this process was repeated two or three times in later years; and that on the Board throughout the period was Mr. Graham Sutherland. So Mr. Sutherland, presumably, being better informed than Mr. Cooper as to Sir John Rothenstein's view of de Stael's painting, had other reasons for resigning.