A colourful painting by Berl Cook depicting two women sitting in a pub drinking pints of beer and smoking cigarettes.

Nathalie Olah

Saturday Talks Series

Writer Nathalie Olah leads a talk in response to the art of Beryl Cook.

Situating Cook in the British mid-century, Olah explores the artist’s work in relation to the academic interests of that time — namely pop-culture as a relatively new phenomenon, and the spread of American soft power through its entertainment machine. With reference to writers and theorists including Raymond Williams, Richard Haggard and Stuart Hall, Olah offers a re-reading of Cook’s practice.

This event forms part of our Saturday Talks series, in which artists, curators and writers lead personal responses to Beryl Cook / Tom of Finland. These talks, readings and performances are an opportunity to explore specific aspects of the exhibition, from 'bad taste' to class tourism, masculinity and sexuality in the military, and London's lost queer spaces.

  1. Nathalie Olah is an author with an interest in class and propaganda. Her books include Bad Taste (Dialogue Books, 2023) an exploration of the intersection between consumerism, class, desire and power; Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas (Tate Publishing, 2023) and Steal As Much As You Can (Repeater Books, 2019). Her writing has been published widely in periodicals including ArtReview, The Guardian, Tribune, Jacobin and The Times Literary Supplement.

  2. Beryl Cook, Big Shoes, 2006. Image courtesy of the Beryl Cook Estate.

Suggested donation £5

Saturday 20 July, 3–3.30 pm

Studio Voltaire
1A Nelsons Row
London SW4 7JR

Open Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm.

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