Results for search of category: Reviews

The Snail that climbed the Eiffel Tower and other work by John Minton

Martin Salisbury has produced a classic and he has been beautifully supported by the Mainstone Press. As an object alone, this book is a delight; knowing nothing about the artist, one could leaf through this production and gorge on its quality. There can be no better way to remind the art world that they diminish artists like Minton at their peril; his paintings were the tip of his iceberg and it is only when they are taken with his other work that his skills and achievements get their proper recognition. He may have had a short life as an artist, but what a marvellous range of achievements.

Geoffrey Clarke Sculptor. Catalogue Raisonné.

Geoffrey Clarke had a very long career as a sculptor. This book lists 900 works spread over 63 years, from 1949-2012. Both the work and this catalogue represent substantial achievements and, like all books of this type, the contribution made to a proper understanding of the artist’s career is formidable.

Francis Bacon. Catalogue Raisonné. 5 Volumes.

Beautifully and meticulously produced, these five volumes are a magnificent work. Martin Harrison and Rebecca Daniels have laboured for many years to produce them: the result is surely a model of what a dedicated team can do if given sufficient time and resources. High quality catalogues of this type underpin the ability of scholars to study the work of a given artist seriously and in detail. The volumes are overwhelmingly scholarly and informative. Rather than seeking to contribute directly to the long-running debate about the meaning of Bacon’s work, they contribute indirectly by displaying the material which can enable objective analysis.

The Art of John Piper. David Fraser Jenkins and Hugh Fowler-Wright

Writing about the entirety of John Piper’s career presents a formidable challenge. It lasted a long time and encompassed a great variety of types of work. Describing it requires a very fine balance between detail and overview. The authors here on the whole make a good job of getting that balance right.

John Aldridge RA at The Fry Art Gallery Saffron Walden

The show at the Fry – that most wonderful of small galleries – was too small to make many substantive points in any debate as to Aldridge’s proper status. Whilst ahead of most artists of his time, he was nowhere near the top group, and as such, is likely to remain amongst the footsoldiers of 20th Century British art. An excellent little catalogue for the exhibition included a fine essay by local art historian, Peter Donovan. I would urge anyone within reach of Saffron Walden to visit and support the Fry Art Gallery.

Rina Arya. “Francis Bacon. Painting in a Godless World”

Farnham 2012 ISBN: 978-1-84822-044-7
Not all writers about Bacon have been able to write so clearly. But the interpretation of Bacon’s paintings is not a task where “success” is possible. The task facing the author of trying to analyse works created intuitively was never going to be easy. As ever with a great artist, we are left with the pictures speaking to us in whatever way we choose to hear them.

William Nicholson. Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings by Patricia Reed.

London 2011. ISBN 978 0 300 17054 2
Anyone wishing to assess 20th century English artists objectively will recognise Sir William Nicholson as one of the greats. This book fully supports that status and is itself a great book.

Stanley Spencer and the English Garden, Compton Verney/Exhibition at Kunsthal, Rotterdam

Stanley Spencer and the English Garden, edited by Steven Parissien, London, 2011. ISBN 978-1-907372 12 4. (First published in conjunction with an exhibition at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, 25 June-2 October 2011).
Exhibition of Stanley Spencer at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, 17 September 2011-15 January 2012.

The Face of Courage. Eric Kennington, Portraiture and the Second World War

Published in the British Art Journal, Volume XII No. 2, Autumn 2011

John Piper in Kent and Sussex – Exhibition at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne curated by Nathaniel Hepburn

Published in the British Art Journal, Volume XII No. 2, Autumn 2011