Pens Ink and Places
Starting with his drawings for Beatrix Potter’s previously unpublished Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, Quentin Blake narrates his life as an illustrator through the projects he has worked on since 2012. The book reveals the remarkable variety of Blake’s work, with examples that range in scale from book illustrations for The Fables of La Fontaine to wall-sized drawings for the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, and across subjects from Claridge's Hotel (for a champagne advertisement) to the post-apocalyptic landscapes of Riddley Walker.
The Good Citizen's Alphabet
And History of the World in Epitome
A is for Asinine, Z is for Zeal in this alphabet written, with ‘no purpose beyond fun’, by the philosopher Bertrand Russell. It was originally given to his friends Stefan and Franciszka Themerson as a Christmas present in 1952 and only later published with drawings by Franciszka. Russell’s playful satire on 26 political and rhetorical words is reprinted here, along with his six-line History of the World in Epitome (for use in Martian infant schools) – a title almost as long as the text.
Crossing the Channel
British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism
During the period between the restoration of the French monarchy at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, hostility in politics between Britain and France gave way to mutual admiration in the arts. This magnificent catalogue of a 2003 exhibition at Tate Britain deals mainly with painting and brings together works by major figures such as Constable, Delacroix, Turner and Vernet to explore how artists from each country influenced their counterparts on the other side of the Channel.
Laughter Is a Devastating Weapon
Born Helmut Herzfeld in 1891 and anglicizing his name in protest against German nationalism in 1916, John Heartfield became a political artist unrivalled in the 20th century, who pushed political satire to surrealist extremes in anti-Nazi and anti-capitalist graphic art and photomontage. This volume presents a short biography of Heartfield and reproductions of his finest work, setting the original artworks alongside the published versions.
To this day, William Blake (1757–1827) remains a controversial figure, seen as either an inspiring genius or an unsettling eccentric, whose work is arresting for both its beauty and its strangeness. In a study that follows the stages of the artist’s development, William Vaughan explores the pictorial power of Blake’s art and his ‘ability to see things anew, to read new meanings into old forms’.
Terry Frost (1915–2003) was one of Britain’s great abstract painters. His career spanned seven decades, starting with his introduction to art in a Second World War prisoner-of-war camp and stretching into the 21st century. First published in 2000, this was the first book to present the extent of Frost’s art, placing it within historical context and in relation to the work of his international contemporaries.
Clarrie Wallis reassesses the influences and legacy of Patrick Caulfield (1936–2005), who came to prominence through The New Generation exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1964 and whose iconic and vibrant paintings of modern life reinvigorated the subject matter of traditional still life, interiors and landscape.
With his ‘naked portraits’ and his aim to ‘make the paint work as flesh’, Lucian Freud (1922–2011) was able to reinvent portraiture. Although often controversial, his reputation grew to the point where Freud was hailed as the ‘greatest living realist painter’. In this survey, Virginia Button considers his life and work from a more distanced perspective than the many studies written during his lifetime.
While much writing about Constable focuses on his depictions of rural life and his ‘Englishness’, Vaughan’s study looks instead to ‘the sense of passionate observation and daring expression that gives so much excitement to his work’. The book draws extensively on the artist’s own correspondence to provide a fresh understanding of his artistic aims and achievements and reassess his role in the birth of modern art.
Both profoundly original and astonishingly prolific, JMW Turner helped transform landscape painting into an expressive art form of enormous range and power. This study, covering all aspects of Turner’s work, reveals the extent to which he wanted his paintings to communicate intellectually as well as emotionally; and how he used landscape as a vehicle for ruminations on society, politics and the human condition.
Andrew Brighton describes his account as seeking ‘to inform how one might experience, think about and value Bacon’s work’. His book casts fresh light on Bacon’s formation as an artist in gay, aristocratic and bohemian London circles; it examines his working methods and technique; and it reveals the ideas, the beliefs and the life that together formed one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.
One of the most radical British artists of the 20th century, Ben Nicholson (1894–1982) first came to international prominence with his remarkable ‘white reliefs’ of the 1930s and formed links with Picasso, Braque, Mondrian and others of the European avant-garde. This study explains his central role in the establishment of a modernist art community in St Ives, and why his importance to the development of modern art practice in Britain cannot be overstated.
Penelope Curtis, a Director of Tate Britain, describes the life and work of Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975) and provides an up-to-date survey of the contexts in which her art can currently be understood. The book examines the impetus behind the formal clarity of Hepworth’s sculpture and her attempt at ‘holding the beautiful thought’ through the difficult times in which she lived.
After he retired from his work as a fisherman, Alfred Wallis spent nearly 20 years painting until his death in St Ives in 1942. Now, he is recognized as one of the most original British artists of the 20th century. This book revises previous accounts of Wallis’s life, traces the development of his painting, looks at the mythology that grew up around him and examines mid-20th-century ideas of the ‘primitive’.